RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
The Little Wonder - The Remarkable History of Wisden

The Little Wonder - The Remarkable History of Wisden
Robert Winder

Published in the UK in 2013 by John Wisden & Company
An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc,
50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP

Website: www.wisden.com, www.bloomsbury.com

ISBN 978 I 408I 3626 3

Pages: 440

Price: Sterling Pounds Twenty Five only.

The first history of the world's most famous sports book and the longest running sports annual has been published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Robert Winder, the former literary editor of The Independent, in his outstanding publication The Little Wonder traces the central role the game has played in national life for so long. He narrates the compelling story of the book with great skill that has chronicled the sport each and every year since 1864.

At his peak, John Wisden was known as The Little Wonder. As a leading member of the England cricket team, he sailed across the Atlantic in 1859 to undertake the sport's first overseas tour. In 1864, after his retirement, Wisden published the first edition of the book that would make his name immortal. The 1864 edition is now a rare artwork valued at anything up to Sterling Pounds Twenty five thousand and Wisden Cricketers' almanack has been published continuously ever since, a seemingly endles bestseller. W.H.Knight was the editor for the first 16 editions.

The 100th edition of Wisden was marked by the introduction of the Wisden Trophy, to be contested in all future series between England and West Indies. Coloured photographs were used in Wisden for the first time in 1988.

In 1993 Paul Getty purchased John Wisden & Company from Grays and Bowater. In 1995, a limited-edition leatherbound version of Wisden was introduced while in 1999, 1500 pages were exceeded for the first time.

In 2000, Five Cricketers of the Century (Jack Hobbs, Don Bradman, Garry Sobers, Vivian Richards and Shane Warne) were introduced for the first time in the Almanack.

After the death of Paul Getty in 2003, his son Mark took control of John Wisden & Company and in 2004, Wisden introduced a new annual accolade; The Leading Cricketer in the World. Last year, the first edition of Wisden India was launched.

In his Foreword, David Kynaston, is full of praise for the author: "Robert Winder is a real writer, with a strong sense of the inherent tragi-comedy of both life and cricket, and in this hugely enjoyable, illuminating anniversary account he does full justice to the Almanack's long and mainly distinguished history. His attitude i that of a critical friend: unfailingly humane in his treatment, but never shirking an unfavourable judgement. This is entirely as it should be, for Wisden itself has been transformed in the last quarter of a century or so - from a semi-mouthpiece of the establishment into a much more independent (and much more readable) recorder and appraiser of the game. Of course, cricket itself has changed even more fundamentally during these years, but it still at heart remains, in any format and in any context, an intense physical and psychological battle between bowler and batsman. As long as that contest continues to grip an audience, the play will continue; and all being well, the not-so-little wonder will still be here to memorialise it for posterity."

Wisden's 150th anniversary in 2013 is the ideal time to tell the extraordinary story of Wisden's - and cricket's - journey from Victorian times to the modern world.

We are thankful to Mark Harrison (Harrisons Public Relations Email: harrisons@ndirect.co.uk ) for arranging to send The Little Wonder - The Remarkable History of Wisden for our website.