| LONDON, April 11
LONDON, April 11 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
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
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
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
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)
Please double click on the newslink below:
for all sports stories