Home > News >

Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack is now 150 not out

Wisden

The first edition was a 112-page work, in contrast to the some 1,500 pages needed to encompass the modern game © AFP (File Pic)

London: Apr 10, 2013

It started as a the work of a former cricketer looking to secure an income in his retirement and was priced at a modest one shilling.

By contrast, Wednesday saw the publication of the 150th edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, with the hardback edition a somewhat more expensive £50 ($76, 59 euros).

In the intervening years the publication founded by John Wisden — an English professional bowler known for his “fast and ripping off-cutters” — has established itself as the “bible of cricket”.

Published every year since 1864 — not even two world wars interrupted the unbroken sequence — the appearance of the annual, primarily a review of the previous year’s English cricket season but now encompassing the global cricket calendar, has become a landmark event among the game’s enthusiasts.

That first edition was a 112-page work, in contrast to the some 1,500 pages needed to encompass the modern game, and included such random details as the lengths of Britain’s canals.

Also there were the dates of the Wars of the Roses — a series of dynastic wars fought for the English crown in the 15th century — and the rules of an ancient pub game called Knur and Spell.

But over time features that have become staples made their first appearance, with 1889 marking the debut of the Almanack’s Cricketers of the Year — a highly prized award which a player can win only once in their career.

Recipients have ranged from giants of the game in the 19th and early 20th centuries such as WG Grace and Jack Hobbs to modern-day greats from Viv Richards and Ian Botham to current England skipper Alastair Cook and Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.

“It was an honour to be named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1993 because you feel like you are being recognised by one of the game’s great institutions,” former England captain Alec Stewart told the BBC.

The reference work’s familiar yellow cover made its debut with the 1938 edition, as did the woodcut image by artist Eric Ravilious of two Victorian-era gentlemen playing cricket, which has since become Wisden’s emblem.

Having outlived some early rivals, Wisden established a pre-eminent place in cricket publishing.

But in an age when cricket statistics and comment are just a mouse-click away and the Internet provides a constantly updated supply of information, how will Wisden, having reached a well-known cricketing landmark “score” of 150, press on to its double century?

“In an age of tweeting and blogging, which are both important nowadays, we try to make a virtue of the fact that we can step back and take a considered view,” current editor Lawrence Booth told the BBC.

“The fact that people still buy Wisden suggests there is still an affection for that approach. Until people stop buying it we will carry on doing it.”

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: 1st Test sees disappointing crowd turnout

Virat Kohli spot-kicks raise money for charity in Indian Super League

Duleep Trophy 2014-15: Naman Ojha smashes double ton as Central Zone pile huge score against North Zone

David Warner half-century guides Australia to 113/0 against Pakistan on Day 2 of 1st Test

Sachin Tendulkar wishes fans on Diwali

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Is Aamir Khan trying to be Mr Bean in PK?

Xiaomi is migrating its international users’ data to improve service performance and strengthen privacy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surprises Chinese crowd by speaking seemingly good Mandarin

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

ISL 2014 Table & Results: Points Table and Team Standings of Hero Indian Super League Football Tournament

Humsafar episode 9 review: Asher is NOT happy with Khirad’s friendship with Khizar

Abhishek Bachchan, the surprise package in Farah Khan’s Happy New Year?

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here