RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Wisden on India - An Anthology

Wisden on India - An Anthology
Edited by Jonathan Rice -
Foreword by Ravi Shastri

Published by:
John Wisden & Co. ( an Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.)
36, Soho Square,
London W1D 3QY England

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

Naomi Webb

Senior Marketing Executive, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
E-mail: naomi.webb@bloomsbury.com

Pages :

Price :
Sterling Pounds Thirty only

This anthology is thoughtful, balanced and informative and charts the progress of India through Wisden's pages. Using match reports, articles, notes, obituaries and illustrations, it brings this extraordinary team - and this equally extraordinary nation - to life.

From the early days of the Parsee tours in the 19th century, from cricket's Golden Age and the brilliant K.S.Ranjitsinhji, and the first All-Indian tour of England in 1911, Indian cricket has grown increasingly conspicuous in the pages of Wisden.

In the first chapter, The formative years: 1864-1911, K.S.Ranjitsinhji has been described for about a decade as the most brilliant player of the Golden Age of English cricket.

In the introductory chapter, cricket enthusiasts are informed that "Wisden on India is not a history of Indian cricket It is a pot of trinkets, to be dipped into and enjoyed as a reflection on the way that cricket's greatest publication has looked at cricket's greatest conquest, India."

This splendid publication predominantly covers Test Cricket, although obituaries of key personnel and essays on all Indian cricketers of the Year appear throughout the book.

Ravi Shastri, in his Foreword, believes "Wisden has the same aura and respect in India as it has in England. The same can be said for Pakistan, Sri Lanka and all the other Test-playing countries - or even in Associate nations who only now are beginning their formal association with the game.

I never became a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, though I like to think I came close once or twice. But when I look at the names of the 15 Indians that have been chosen in the last 77 years, I understand why. From C.K.Nayudu and the Nawab of Pataudi to Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, and then to Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar, Wisden has enshrined the most prized legends of Indian cricket. Today, as I move from one commentary box to another, a copy of Wisden is never far away. Wherever there is cricket, there will always be a Wisden."

The second chapter - The Game Takes Hold - covers the years between 1911 and 1932. In 1930 K.S.Duleepsinhji was named Cricketer of the Year. Wisden had remarked: Thirty-three years after his uncle became the first Indian to be honoured as a Cricketer of the Year, Duleep gained entry into Wisden's hall of fame. Like Ranji, Duleep was never part of India's cricket or its development, which was gaining pace as the 1930s began. Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji, if not so famous as his renowned uncle, the Jam Sahib of Nawanagar (K.S.Ranjitsinhji), has already accomplished enough in cricket to be regarded as one of the great batsmen of the younger generation."

The third Chapter covers The Runs Begin to Flow: 1933-1953 while the next chapter covers on Level Terms: 1953-1983. The years between 1983 nd 2000 have been covered in the chapter five - The One-day Game Takes
Centre Stage. "The effect of the World Cup win, as well as local, political and economic decisions, meant that one-day internationals were beginning to become the preferred diet of Indian cricket fans."

Chapter six covers the 21st century and in his article, namely, A Game in Shame, Mihir Bose mentioned: Cricket corruption, like taxes and poverty, may always be with us. But after cricket's annus horribilis of 2000 we can, for the first time, understand how a combination of players' greed, dreadful impotence and infighting by cricket administrators, and a radical shift in cricketing power from England to the Indian subcontinent helped create cricket's darkest chapter."

Wisden on India is a delightfully interesting and compelling read from start to finish.