RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2014
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2014
- Edited by Lawrence Booth

Co-editor: Hugh Chevallier
Deputy Editor: Steven Lynch and Harriet Monkhouse

Consultant publisher: Christopher Lane
Published by Wisden & Co, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP

Website: www.wisden.com, www.wisdenrecords.com

Pages: 1586
Price Sterling Pounds 50.

Publicity Mark Harrison, Harrisons PR
Mobile + 44 (0) 7776 182 506
Email: harrisons@ndirect.co.uk

The 151st edition of the cricket world's bible, in its familiar yellow and brown cover and with all the usual indispensable features, is out. With 1586 pages, the latest edition is a mammoth production.
Another enduring Wisden tradition dating back to 1889 is the selection of Five Cricketers of the Year. The said award is considered as Cricket's nearest approach to a Hall of Fame. By tradition, the selection made by the Editor, is based primarily on the performance during the previous English season and in the Test series involving England. Quite naturally, there have been more Englishmen than others in this anxiously awaited Bible. No player may be chosen twice.
Shikhar Dhawan, Charlotte Edwards, Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Joe Root are the editor's choice as Five Cricketers of the Year - still the most prestigious award in the game.
India won the summer's global event, ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2013, and the Player of the Tournament was their opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan. He managed 363 runs (ave.90.75), including two hundreds (114 off 94 balls vs South Africa and an unbeaten 102 off 107 balls vs West Indies) and a fifty in just five innings - the strike rate being 101.39
Charlotte Edwards has been profiled by Tim de Lisle. "Charlotte Edwards is Andrew Strauss and MS Dhoni rolled into one. In terms of longevity, she is verging on Sachin Tendulkar after making her Test debut at the age of 16, she remains at the top 18 years later. In terms of talent, she is Mark Waugh, a natural stokemaker, Test No.4 and one-day opener. In terms of stats, she is Geoff Boycott, averaging 47 in Tests. In terms of history, she is Nasser Hossain, the first England captain to benefit from central contracts."
Lawrence Booth, paying tribute to Sachin Tendulkar, remarked in his Notes: "Most cricketers decide they have had enough of the goldfish bowl after a decade or so. Tendulkar played Test matches in front of the most demanding fans in the world for 24 years. If further proof was required of just how astonishing this was, it came at Perth in December, when for a few moments one Cook and one Clarke added up to exactly one Tendulkar: 200 Test caps, 15921 runs and 51 hundreds. Sport's pleasure resides in meaning so much to so many, while being essentially meaningless itself. Think about this for too long, and you'll get a headache. But Tendulkar came closer than anyone to making sense of it."
South Africa's speedster, Dale Steyn has been named as The Leading Cricketer in the World for 2003, a year in which he captured 51 wickets at 17.66 runs apiece in just nine Tests at an economy rate of 2.51 - the best economy rate of his career. Steyn was scarcely less lethal in one-day internationals, taking 27 wickets at 15.85 runs apiece in 13 games. Most remarkable was, perhaps, for a man of his pace, was his meanness: an economy rate of 3.65 was comfortably the lowest among bowlers to have sent down 100 overs (117) in ODIs in 2013. Fast, penetrative, and parsimonious - it was some combination. He shows no signs of slowing down or losing his enthusiasm. "I enjoy taking wickets more than most people can understand," he says. "I'm addicted to that feeling. I live in the moment, but I hope there are many more years of it to come."
Steyn is the second South African to be selected as Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World, after Jacques Kallis in 2007. In 2013, Steyn was selected as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year.
Commenting on the Ashes 2013-14, Lawrence Booth, believes "no sporting defeat is a disaster." According to him 5-0 against a team that had won nine of their previous ten Tests came close. This, then was the worst result in England's history, surpassing the home loss to New Zealand in 1999, which left them bottom of Wisden's Test rankings. And it meant their 3-0 victory in the summer vied for another uneasy superlative: the least-remembered Ashes win of all. By January, the bottom line read 5-3 to Australia. It felt like 10-0".
Editing Wisden for the third time, Lawrence Booth, the Almanack's youngest editor for 72 years, comments perceptively on the major issues facing the sport: "The boards of India, England and Australia quietly crafted a document which claimed to safeguard the game's future, while more obviously safeguarding their own. In sum, the BCCI wanted an even larger slice of the ICC pie, and the ECB and Cricket Australia happily acquiesced, knowing their portion would grow too. The rest were assured they would be better off. And who could object to a world with more money for everyone?
Here was colonial-style divide and rule. Here was the realpolitik of modern cricket. It was hard to read this any other way: the rich would be getting a whole lot richer."
At its heart lay the BCCI's desire not merely to oust the ICC as the game's governing body, but to wean themselves, eventually off all, but the most lucrative international fixtures, and so create more space for domestic Twenty20".
Forty three pages have been devoted to the Obituaries section. In a three-page piece, Mike Denness has been paid an excellent tribute: "An elegant, fluent batsman, either opening or in the middle order, Denness made almost 26,000 first-class runs at 33, and was a magnificent fielder. He was softly spoken and uncomfortable in the limelight, but firm, principled and determined - never more so than when, as an ICC match referee, he became embroiled in a huge row after censuring several of India's biggest stars."
The Cricket Round the World section, compiled by James Coyne and Timothy Abraham, is more extensive than ever.
Well-produced and well-researched, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2014 provides all the facts and figures of a year, meticulously compiled by Philip Bailey.
Despite its price tag of Sterling Pounds 50, it is a must for cricket enthusiasts.