RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2015
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2015
Edited by Lawrence Booth, Co-editor: Hugh Chevallier,
Deputy Editors: Steven Lynch and Harriet Monkhouse

Consultant publisher: Christopher Lane
Published by John Wisden & Co., an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP
Web: www.wisden.com, www.bloomsbury.com

Pages: 1522
Price: Sterling Pounds Fifty

Publicity Co-ordinator: Henry Lord, Henry.Lord@bloomsbury.com

Available in India from Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd.
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110070
Senior executive - Marketing & Publicity: Peter Modoli
Email: Peter.Modoli@bloomsbury.com

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

Moeen Ali, Angelo Matthews, Gary Ballance, Adam Lyth and Jeetan Patel have been named as five Cricketers of the Year.

Meg Lanning, the inaugural winner of Wisden's newest award (The Leading Woman Cricketer in the World), ended 2014 on top of both the one-day and Twenty20 International batting rankings - having already led Australia to the World Twenty20 title in Bangladesh, where she was the tournament's leading run-scorer. Age just 21, she was the youngest player - male or female - to captain Australia.

Editing Wisden for the fourth time,Lawrence Booth, the Almanack's editor, in his notes, is critical of Narayanaswmi Srinivasan's appointment at the ICC. "Last June, Srinivasan was confirmed as chairman of the ICC, ostensibly the most powerful position in the governance of a global game for which his affection, was, by his own admission, limited,

The appointment itself was exasperating enough. Worse, it came not long after India's Supreme Court had ordered Srinivasan to step down as President of the BCCI while investigations continued into the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. But Cricket's administrators have their own sartorial code: if the cap doesn't fit, try a different one, safe in the knowledge that others - the ECB and Cricket Australia, mainly - will be tilting the mirror to find the most flattering angle."

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2015, released recently, has named Kumar Sangakkara as 'The Leading Cricketer in the World' for 2014. He becomes only the second player after Virender Sehwag to win it twice. Lawrence Booth commented: "Choosing Sangakkara just felt natural. And his four consecutive hundreds at the World Cup confirmed we'd chosen the right man. We'll miss him when he's gone."

Booth has shown his concern with regard to a tumultuous year for the Emglish game, one in which he says English cricket lost touch "with the basic idea that the national team belongs to us all". He is scathing about the way the ECB managed the game in 2014, from the mishandling of the Kevin Pietersen affair to the one-day captaincy of Alastair Cook. He is also critical of the decline in playing numbers, and stresses the need for the English game to unlock the potential of its Asian cricketers at grossroots level.

"Starting with the drubbing in Australia, England lost eight full series out of ten across the formats in 2014, to say nothing of their defeat by the Netherlands at the World Twenty20. In all, they lost 28 games. Only once had this been surpassed in a calendar year by one of the eight major teams - the dysfunctional 2010 Pakistanis."

In a Crime and Punishment section - ICC Code of Conduct - Breaches and Penalties in 2013-14 to 2014-15, four Indian players figure - Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli

The Obituaries section includes the obituaries of David Allen, Ian Craig, Anandji Dossa, Gary Gilmour, Phillip Hughes, Madhav Mantri, Geoff Pullar and Philip Sharpe. The said section overall runs to 79 pages - the most since 107 in 1916.

The Cricket Round the World section, 2014 compiled by James Coyne and Timothy Abraham is more extensive than ever.

The text is adorned with some superb colour photographs. A lavish production, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2015 provides all the facts and figures of a year, meticulously compiled by Philip Bailey. Many happy hours can be spent absorbing the endless data.