RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Wisden on the Ashes

Wisden on the Ashes - The Authoritative Story of Cricket's Greatest Rivalry

Edited by Steven Lynch - Foreword by Sir Alec Bedser
50, Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP  United Kingdom.

Published in 2015 by John Wisden & Co. - an Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.,
The book is available in India from Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd. 
Tel: +91 11 40574957
       +91 11 40574954

Pages:  689
Price Rs.1299/-
ISBN 978-1-4729-1353-1

If you want to have any information on the Ashes, Wisden on the Ashes is a book for you - a detailed chronological journey through the history of the famous Australia-England contests - competently edited by my friend, Steven Lynch. With Test reports, scorecards, 'Great Bowlers of the Year' and other fascinating material from the archives, together with new editorial pieces, Wisden on the Ashes is a remarkable record of cricket's most enduring battle.

The book commences its journey with England's first tour of Australia in 1877 and the subsequent three series prior to the 1882 tour that led to a mock obituary being placed in the Sporting Times "In affectionate remembrance of English cricket, which died at The Oval on 29th August, 1882....The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.".

Besides, the Ashes gave rise to Don Bradman, the greatest batsman of all; the 1932-33 Bodyline affair, when a bowling tactic aimed at keeping Bradman quiet led to a diplomatic crisis; the World Series schism of the 1970s, when the Australian TV magnate Kerry Packer threatened to destroy establishment cricket by signing up 50 of the best players for private matches; "Botham's Ashes" of 1981, probably the best-remembered England-Australia series of all...at least until the amazing summer of 2005, when a nation held its breath during five compelling matches that culminated in England reclaiming those Ashes after sixteen long years

Sir Alec Bedser, who is the only English bowler to have captured 30 wickets or more in an Ashes series at home and away, has contributed an excellent Foreword.  "I think my earliest Ashes-related memory is seeing the Evening News when Don Bradman scored 334 at Headingley in 1930.  It was unsuual to have big photos in the papers in those days, let alone a cricket one, but I remember half of the front page was taken up by a photo of The Don.  I just had my 12th birthday the previous week, and seeing Bradman on the front page made a big impression on me.

"The Ashes have been a major part of my life, but I think they have been a special part of many of other lives too, not just those privileged to have taken part but also the millions who have been entertained.  Cricket is fortunate to have an international contest which is the envy of all sports.  The history of the Ashes is the most eventful sporting story of all, and there can be no better way to read about it than through the original words of Wisden which make up this splendid anthology."

Writing in the introductory chapter, Steven Lynch believes, "England v Australia Test series are an ongoing soap opera, with regular instalments (now standardised at every two years or so, but it was even more frequent than that in the 1880s).  The cast is refreshed every time, with old favourites being gently pushed aside by new heroes."

This updated edition includes both the 2013 series, which saw England retain the Ashes on home soil (3-0)before Australia won all five tests in the second series later that year in Australia, and the 2015 series won by England (3-2) played in England. It also includes a colour photo section celebrating the players, the matches and the key moments from an ongoing rivalry..

Wisden on the Ashes contains original match reports from all those 341 encounters since 1877, most of them memorable, many of them magnificent, almost all of them significant plus numerous extracts from other related articles, including the Editor's Notes, tour reviews and Cricketer of the Year essays.

Steven Lynch and the publishers are to be congratulated on their enterprise. All who browse through this book will be impressed by the wide range of reading displayed by the editor. A truly monumental work, deserving of the highest praise.  The photographs are superb.  A quality product indeed.