RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2019
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2019
Edited by Lawrence Booth, Co-editor: Hugh Chevallier, Deputy Editors: Steven Lynch and Harriet Monkhouse

Consultant publisher: Christopher Lane

Published by Wisden & Co, (An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc,)
50 Bedford Square, London

ISBN 978-1-4729-6404-5

Web : www.wisdenalmanack.com, www.wisdenrecords.com

Pages : 1536

Price: 55.00

It is 'Wisden time' once again - the cricket world's bible, in its familiar yellow and brown cover and with all the usual indispensable features, is out.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2019, the 156th edition, is the eighth under the editorship of Lawrence Booth, who has done an outstanding job. Wisden's status as the most famous sports book in the world remains intact.
Lawrence Booth is one of the most respected and well-liked authorities in the modern game.
Wisden 2019 charts the rise and rise of the England one-day team as they head towards a home World Cup in the summer. It also revisits the 1979 Prudential World Cup, when England made it to the final, but lost out to Clive Lloyd's all-conquering West Indians.
Indian captain Virat Kohli, for an unprecedented third successive year, has been named as the Leading Cricketer of the Year, by the cricketing bible, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.
Kohli had managed 2735 runs at an outstanding average of 68.37, including eleven hundreds and nine fifties, in 47 innings across the three formats (Tests/ODIs/T20Is) in 2018. No other batsmen could amass even 2,000 runs in international cricket last year.
Wisden remarked: "Faced with Test series in South Africa, England and Australia - so often graveyards for Indian batsmen - Kohli rose to each challenge as if he had a score to settle. India's results were mixed, but his batting was supreme. Including a home series against West Indies, he scored five Test hundreds, totalling 1,322 runs, nearly 300 more than anyone else.
Hundreds at Centurion in January and at Perth in December underlined his growing comfort in South African and Australian conditions. But the real breakthrough - the only one he still needed to make - came in England. There, he put his 2014 nightmare behind him, averaging 59 and taking India to within touching distance of victories at Edgbaston and Southampton in a series they lost, unflatteringly, 4-1. Time and again, his was the pivotal wicket, yet the pressure never cowed him; if anything, it drove him on."
In Tests in 2018, he was the top run-getter with 1322 at an average of 55.08, including five hundreds and five fifties, in 24 innings. During India's 4-1 series defeat to England in the Pataudi Trophy, he had amassed 593 runs at an average of 59.30, including two hundreds and three fifties - the most on either side.
Besides, Kohli has been picked as one of the five cricketers of the year along with Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tammy Beaumont and Rory Burns.
Smriti Mandhana has been named the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World. With 1291 runs (ave.40.34) in 37 matches across the two limited-over formats, she finished the year as the world's top run-getter. Her tally includes 669 (ave.66.90), including a hundred and seven fifties in 12 ODIs.
Scyld Berry, the cricket correspondent of The Daily Telegraph in his superb piece on Alastair Cook's retirement, has remarked on his farewell: "Cook's farewell was superlative - to match his feat of being England's highest Test run-scorer, leading century-maker, longest-serving captain and most prolific slip catcher -- because it was the most joyous farewell of any English cricketer."
Fifty one pages have been devoted to the Obituaries section. Lawrence Booth has remarked: "The obituaries in this year's Almanack contain as many gems as ever, throwing up reasons to grin, as well as to grieve".
Wisden has paid a rich tribute to Colin Bland: "There had been outstanding fielders before Colin Bland, but perhaps no one who became known primarily for that reason. The slight of Bland prowling in the covers for South Africa, or patrolling square leg was unfailingly menacing. He elevated what many viewed as a chore into compelling theatre. Nicknamed "the Golden Eagle", Bland swooped on the ball as if it were prey; his throws usually zeroed in on the stumps. "He took our fielding to another dimension," said Peter Pollock.
In a Crime and Punishment section, Kagiso Rabada, Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, David Warner, Steven Smith, Dinesh Chandimal, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Quinton de Kock, Nathan Lyon and a few others figure for their involvements between 2017-18 and 2018-19 season.
Cricket books have been reviewed by Tanya Aldred, a freelance writer and editor. Steve Smith's Men by Geoff Lemon has been adjudged as Wisden Book of the Year.
Cricket records, comprising first-class, Tests (upto January 14, 2019), One-day Internationals, Twenty20 Internationals, Women's Cricket, updated to the end of the 2018, have been meticulously compiled by Philip Bailey
Well-produced and well-researched, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2019 is a mammoth production and reflects great credit upon its team of compilers under the direction of its editor. Highly recommended. An indispensable companion at the game.