As always the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack is full to the brim of facts, statistics and reflection on the previous year’s cricket. This year’s addition lends particular focus to the management of the English game and how English cricket has lost touch “with the basic idea that the national team belongs to us all.”
Editor Lawrence Booth offers a scathing reflection of the ECB’s management of the game in 2014, reflecting on the Kevin Pietersen debacle and the mishandling of the affair which had a very public fallout to the dismissal of Cook as one-day captain just months before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Furthermore, he gives a critical analysis of other aspects of the English game, namely the decline in playing numbers at grassroots level which he connects to the failure to provide live cricket on a free channel which results in cricket reaching and appealing to a much smaller audience.
However it is not all doom and gloom and Booth is particularly complimentary and glowing in his report of Moeen Ali not only in his batting but also as the man filling the void left by spin bowler Graeme Swann when he retired.
Wisden's Five Cricketers Of The Year
Moeen Ali, Gary Ballance, Adam Lyth, Angelo Mathews, Jeetan Patel
Wisden's Leading Cricketers in the World
Kumar Sangakkara, Meg Lanning
Similarly, there is high praise for the world-class talent of Kumar Sangakkara looking back at another incredible year for the man who broke the record for the highest number of runs in all formats of the game for a calendar year.
Another exciting addition to this year’s Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack is a greater focus on Women’s cricket, with a new section dedicated to the Women’s game. The section not only for the first time names the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World, but also reflects on the growth of Women’s cricket, including reports of every international match played in 2014.
As always the Almanack is full of high-class writing, reflection and analysis; with a little bit of silliness thrown in the Index of Unusual Occurrences.
This year’s almanack covers everything from Kevin Pietersen’s batting and writing to a Babybel stopping play. The book offers an in-depth insight into the English county game, the national side and the international game with The Shorter Wisden, also being available which contains the best writing from the Almanack.
Published: April 2015
Price: £50 (available leather-bound £275 or The Shorter Wisden is also available at £12.99)