One of the things I find surprising is that India seems to have had little influence on the vocabulary of cricket. Notwithstanding India being arguably the world's greatest cricketing nation, I can't immediately think of any examples of cricket jargon which come out of India. Can anyone else?

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    When you're #1 in the world; you don't need to say much ;-) – skullpatrol Oct 31 '13 at 12:08
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    I hope you realize this is off topic. Indian words that Indians use in playing cricket are not English. – Kaz Oct 31 '13 at 15:09
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    I would argue that this is "on topic" because it is the question about the origin of English cricket words that have been adopted from India, making them common jargon for English speaking cricket players. – Zoot Oct 31 '13 at 15:15
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    Foreign loanwords words have to be in wide use to be considered English, rather than foreign words embedded in English speech or writing. For instance, some Latin terms in the sciences are English, like "cerebellum", and some aren't, like Larus Pacificus, whose English translation is "Pacific seagull". When large numbers of native English speakers start pointing to seagulls and uttering "larus!" is when you have an English word. – Kaz Oct 31 '13 at 23:24
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    'Sour grapes' from Mr Dwight. Shame! – WS2 Nov 2 '13 at 21:16

From Wikipedia's Glossary of cricket terms:


a relatively new off spin delivery developed by Saqlain Mushtaq; the finger spin equivalent of the googly, in that it turns the "wrong way". From the Hindi or Urdu for second or other. First coined by Pakistani wicket keeper Moin Khan.


the running-out of a non-striking batsman who leaves his crease before the bowler has released the ball. It is named after Vinoo Mankad, an Indian bowler, who controversially used this method in a Test match. This is relatively common in indoor cricket and is noted separately from run outs, though almost unheard of in first-class cricket


A variation delivery for an off spin bowler, Saqlain Mushtaq has been credited with creating it. Teesra comes from the Urdu meaning "the third one".

  1. A doosra with extra bounce.
  2. A ball that drifts in from wide of off stump and turns away from the right hander sharply with extra bounce.
  3. A finger spinner's back-spinner. Similar to a wrist spinner's slider or flipper.


The term for a delivery bowled with an illegal bowling action (see chuck) in parts of Pakistan and India. Derived from the Punjabi word for stone, i.e. a delivery bowled with a stone throwing action.

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  • These are very interesting. Does 'Mankad' mean that the wicket gets broken and he is run-out, or is it simply that he gains a yard or two, which he is entitled to do if he doesn't mind taking the risk? – WS2 Oct 31 '13 at 13:01
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    There is one local one in my area (Western Uttar Pradesh), if you loose your balance and fall over the wickets after playing a shot, then they call it "inzmam" rather than hit-wicket. youtube.com/watch?v=5xNg8SxnqlM – Dilawar Oct 31 '13 at 13:12
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    I have to say that as an English cricket fan I have never heard these terms before. Is it possible that they are specifically Indian (or East Indian) cricket vocabulary? – DJClayworth Oct 31 '13 at 15:02
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    @WS2; It seems to be simply the bowler running out the non-striker rather than bowling. Wikipedia may think the Indians invented this, but most of us don't. (Jardine was involved in a famous incident, but I can't trace it). – Tim Lymington Nov 1 '13 at 0:00
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    @DJClayworth - As a cricket fan I am surprised that you have never heard of "Doosra" at the least?! Saqlain Mushtaq became a phenomenon when he introduced "Doosra"! – Mohit Nov 6 '13 at 9:28

Nataraja Shot

As far as I know, cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar coined the term because a conventional name for it didn't exist.

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Dusra: a type of bowling.

It's a kind of dual swing, released in a spin. After the ball bounces, the spin reverses, which changes the ball's trajectory and confuses the batsman. It's most effectively used when the batsman is under pressure.

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  • Opposite of the 'googly'. Thanks to Mushtaq. Good one. Any others? – WS2 Oct 31 '13 at 10:07

Chapati Shot, which is attributed to the Ravi Shastri's iconic shot when he used to roll over his wrists and flipped the ball on the leg side. Chapati is an unleavened bread popular in India and Pakistan. The nomenclature of the shot, comes from the fact that the way, Ravi Shastri used to roll his wrist, it used to resemble the rolling over of chapati while being baked.

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    Is that used elsewhere than India, I have never heard it or seen it written in english or Austrailian media – mmmmmm Nov 1 '13 at 16:05

"Gymkhana" is derived from "gendkhana" (gend=ball, khana=house). And yes, I am sure that India did not have any noticeable influence on cricket vocabulary. Enlgish is quite widespread in India, especially among the educated class which produces most of the cricket players. They prefer to use the English terms; their pronunciations are quite Indianised now.

Nonetheless, there are local slangs for these standard cricketing terms, but these are too local to influence standard regional vocabulary. Once is a while some of these slangs become popular such as 'doosra' which is a Hindi term. It means 'second', 'second alternative', 'not the first one'.

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    Is that really used in relation to cricket? In the UK it's exclusively equestrian. – Andrew Leach Oct 31 '13 at 10:06
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    @AndrewLeach Not much and its not specific to cricket. Though some cricket clubs call their ball-house gymkhana. – Dilawar Oct 31 '13 at 10:09
  • What is a 'ball-house'? Do you mean the pavilion? – WS2 Oct 31 '13 at 10:12
  • There must be language which covers terms like 'square', 'cover'. 'leg', 'slip', 'boundary', 'deep third man' etc, isn't there? – WS2 Oct 31 '13 at 10:14
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    @WS2 ball-house is a place where they store their kits, balls and bats and eateries etc. No there are no terms which covers terms you mentioned. When people play this game, either they know the Enlish terms, or simply call the place as 'go there where Rajesh is standing now and ask him to go there near the bush' or something like that. – Dilawar Oct 31 '13 at 10:35

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