I recall many years ago listening to the late Tony Cozier recount how Trinidadian Ellis “Puss” Achong influenced the naming of the cricket delivery known as the “Chinaman”. Ellis was the first cricketer of Chinese descent to play for the West Indies. His slow left-arm orthodox delivery in the 1933 Test match got Walter Robins out stumped. It reportedly elicited the retort from the Englishman Robins, “Fancy being done by a bloody Chinaman!”

Many years later, the great Garfield Sobers became a master at bowling everything, including the famed “Chinaman”. It was never clear whether Robins was referring to the bowler or the delivery.

However, today, 87 years later, Trinidad and Tobago is once again perplexed by a “Chinaman”. The brave effort of Stuart “Garry Sobers” Young to extract propitious spin on a fast bowler’s track is pathetic. It even beats the attempts last year of a Guyanese side to claim victory with 32 runs when their opponents scored 33! The bouncer delivered by a clearly riled-up US Ambassador would have made Malcolm Marshall or Andy Roberts nod in approval.

Yet, although Minister Young’s lame come-back “Chinaman” has been deposited way over the fence and into the balisier garden in St Ann’s, some like the PNM Women’s League are screaming for another spell.

Captain Rowley must be contemplating walking off the field in frustration and forfeiting the match. However, he has opted to hide in his garden beyond the boundary, from an irate crowd.

Almost on a daily basis, seasoned commentators from the media are wondering out loud why he is refusing to pull the young and inexperienced spinner from the attack.

It is clear his main strike bowler is tired and unable to even grip the ball. It’s a gross insult to the skill of the real Garry Sobers, the Barbadian cricketing legend.

With only a couple overs left to bowl and his champion spinner leaking runs, skipper Rowley must pry the ball from his hands and unceremoniously send him off.

One player who was in the hunt has already retired hurt with water in his eyes. Nobody knows what ails him. Sadly, he has only just realised there were players on the field who the umpire has sanctioned.

Although the game appears already lost, the captain must do the right thing and save the crowd from further embarrassment. It amounts to a matter of national security. Failing this, an entire country would be “...done by a bloody Chinaman”.

Andrew Cross



I hadn’t intended to write a word; my feelings were raw and I felt that everything I could possibly say had already been expressed. I had already begun writing about something else for this column, but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t feel that it was right to let my exhaustion with the ongoing brutality of humankind shunt me away from a principle I hold fast.

EARLIER this week, the Minister of Housing officiated at a ceremony organised by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in which 500 lucky would-be homeowners stood to benefit from a random television draw for the allocation of State housing. This was the expected end of the line for at least those persons, some of whom would have submitted applications since who knows how long ago.

I lived in Falcon Heights, Minnesota for most of the 18 years I resided and worked in the state, teaching at the University of Minnesota. I was offered the job there in 1990, and subsequently bought a house. Falcon Heights is a suburb that is equidistant from both Minneapolis and St Paul, the capital, about a ten-minute drive away from both cities. For most of my time there I was the only black person owning a home on my street, and indeed on adjoining streets.

To say that we live in difficult times is to minimise the challenges each and every one of us faces on a daily basis.

From viral pan­demics leading to broken economies which have given rise to a huge number of people struggling to feed their families.

A minority of social media users have voiced dismay that West Indians are fixated on opining about the injustice of George Floyd’s death due to police brutality.

Here in sweet Trinidad and Tobago, we have jumped on the bandwagon and stood up and expressed our diverse views on the ongoing racial tensions in the United States, but I ask us to step back and look at our country.