Wisden reasserts traditional values in online world

LONDON Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:37pm IST

A man hits a ball with an improvised stick for a bat as people play cricket by the beach in Mumbai February 2, 2011. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

A man hits a ball with an improvised stick for a bat as people play cricket by the beach in Mumbai February 2, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui/Files

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - A wintry blast at the start of the English season and the return of the national team after a chastening winter coincide with the publication of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanac under its youngest editor for 72 years.

Lawrence Booth, 37, has succeeded Scyld Berry as only the 16th editor of a publication which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year.

Along with the game it chronicles, the almanac has sought to evolve with the times.

Readers seeking the laws of the game are referred to the Marylebone Cricket Club's website (www.lords.org) while the game's records will be regularly updated on Wisden's website (www.wisden.com).

Reassuringly for the traditionalists, the editor's notes reassert the primacy of test cricket and the danger of an increasing diet of the sporadically entertainng but mostly forgettable Twenty20 game.

"For any series not involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, three tests must be the minimum," Booth writes.

"Nobody denies the fun or rough and tumble, or argues that national boards should not prepare for their rainy day. Twenty20 is a vital part of a fragile ecosystem. But a playful scrap every few hours can grate."

Booth sounds a warning about the power of the Indian board (BCCI) while acknowledging the impact of their World Cup triumph last year in the game's spiritual and financial heartland.

"India have ended up with a special gift: the clout to shape an entire sport. Some national boards would struggle to survive without an Indian visit. But too often their game appears driven by the interest of the few."

The almanac is, as always, crammed with intelligent and informative writing.

Former England captain Mike Brearley, now a practising psychoanalyst, writes with sympathy and perception of the problems of depression in a professional sport when young men retire when their contemporaries in other fields are entering their prime.

New light is thrown on Sydney Barnes, maybe the greatest bowler to grace the game, and there is a chilling account of the court trial of three Pakistan cricketers jailed for corruption.

Tim Bresnan, Lancashire captain Glen Chapple, Alastair Cook, Worcestershire seamer Alan Richardson and Kumar Sangakkara are the five players of the year.

(Editing by Ian Ransom)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Top Athletes

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Abu Dhabi GP

Abu Dhabi GP

Hamilton ready to stand and deliver  Full Article 

Suzuki Cup

Suzuki Cup

Singapore confident of Suzuki title, matchfixing worry lurks  Full Article 

Culture Shock

Culture Shock

Late kickoffs a culture shock for new Sociedad boss Moyes.  Full Article 

Davis Cup

Davis Cup

Gael-force Monfils blows France back into final.  Full Article | Related Story 

Hamilton Ahead

Hamilton Ahead

Advantage Hamilton in Abu Dhabi practice  Full Article 

Racist Comment

Racist Comment

FA investigating Wigan owner Whelan's remarks   Full Article 

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Kewell, Hong, Daei among AFC's first Hall of Fame inductees  Full Article 

Relief For Zidane

Relief For Zidane

Zidane coaching ban overturned  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage