RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2022

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2022
Edited by Lawrence Booth, Co-editor Hugh Chevallier, International Editor Steven Lynch and Statistical Editor Harriet Monkhouse. Consultant Publisher Christopher Lane

Website: www.wisdenalmanack.com and www.wisdenrecords.com

ISBN: 978-1-4729-9110-2

Pages: 1538

Price: Sterling Pounds 57

For any cricket enthusiast, the highlight of the year is surely the release of the distinctive coloured Cricketing bible, The Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and this year's edition, with all the usual indispensable features, is out.

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2022, the 159th edition, released recently, has named Joe Root as 'The Leading Cricketer in the World' for 2021.

South Africa's Lizelle Lee has been named as 'The leading woman cricketer in the world for 2021'. Australia's Meg Lamning (2014), New Zealand's Suzie Bates (2015), Australia's Ellyse Perry (2016), India's Mithali Raj (2017) and Smriti Mandhana (2018), Ellyse Perry (2019) and Australia's Beth Mooney (2020) got the honours in the previous years.

In his editorial notes, Lawrence Booth has remarked: "Last year's Almanack was 1,248 pages, roughly 20% down on the norm - because of Covid. This year's edition is its usual chunky self, though that doesn't tell the whole story. The obituary section in Wisden 2021 included at least 16 who died, as far as we know, because of coronavirus. In Wisden 2022, that figure rises to 24 (and probably more). Cricket and many of the countries who play it did their best to move on, but the pandemic wasn't for budging."

Lawrence Booth believes it's hard to imagine three more contrasting cricket writers than David Foot, Martin Johnson and John Woodcock, who all died last year - and were masters of their genre. Foot explored the human condition. Johnson cracked high-class jokes, Woodcock watched the game with a discerning eye, and reported in 24-carat prose.

Rohit Sharma, Devon Conway, Ollie Robinson, Dane van Niekerk and Jasprit Bumrah have been named as Five cricketers of the year. Nagraj Gollapudi, while profiling Bumrah, says "He has played a crucial part in India's improved record abroad. Between his Test debut at Cape Town in January 2018 and the premature end of the series in England, no bowler in the world had come close to his 97 wickets away from home (Shami was next, with 76).

An average of 22 suggested he has relished the various challenges posed by overseas conditions, with five-fors in Johannesburg, Nottingham (twice), Melbourne, Antigua and Jamaica. And like all great fast men, Bumrah creates a buzz, a sense of an impending event. In his own words, he enjoys conjuring "something when there is nothing".

Jack Shantry, former Worcestershire cricketer, has touched the subject of retirements in 2021 in his piece, the last of a breed.
Daniel Gallan, has paid a rich tribute to A.B.de Villiers, who has retired recently. "Which Abraham Benjamin de Villiers will you remember? The swashbuckling reverse-scooping virtuoso, who decimated attacks with gumption and grace? Or the immovable textbook-perfect stoic, who batted for days on a foundation of granite and grit? In January 2015, he cracked 149 off 44 balls in an ODI against West Indies at Johannesburg. That December, he faced 297 deliveries for 43 in a futile effort to save a Test in Delhi. Among innings of 20 balls or more, the difference in strike-rate of 324 between his fastest ODI knock and his slowest in Tests - is a record."

In a Crime and Punishment section - ICC Code of Conduct - Breaches and Penalties in 2020-21 to 2021-22, India's Virat Kohli figures four times for not ensuring to complete the overs in the allotted time.

The 80-page Obituaries section includes the obituaries of Alan Davidson, Ted Dexter, Mike Hendrick, Ray Illingworth, Bruce Taylor, John Woodcock, Colin McDonald and Yashpal Sharma.

The Cricket Round the World section, 2021, compiled by James Coyne and Timothy Abraham is more extensive than ever. Israel, Malta, Spain, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Tokelau and Venezuela feature in this year's cricketing bible.

Cricket books have been reviewed by Vic Marks. Steven Lynch has done a superb job in compiling Anniversaries in 2022-23.

Fifty years ago, One hundred years ago and One hundred and 50 years ago have been compiled by Christopher Lane.

As in the past, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2022 contains reports and scorecards of all three formats of international cricket, namely, Tests, One-day Internationals and Twenty20 internationals apart from first-class cricket and Women's cricket, together with forthright opinion, compelling features and comprehensive records.

The text is adorned with some superb colour photographs. A lavish production, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2022 provides all the facts and figures of a year, meticulously compiled by Philip Bailey and Andrew Samson.

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2022 is a mammoth production and reflects great credit upon its team of compilers under the direction of its editor, Lawrence Booth. Highly recommended. An indispensable companion at the game.

Many happy hours can be spent absorbing the endless data.

Despite its price tag of Sterling Pounds 57, it is a must for cricket enthusiasts.