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''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'', or simply ''Wisden'', colloquially the Bible of Cricket, is a
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
reference book published annually in the United Kingdom. The description "bible of cricket" was first used in the 1930s by
Alec Waugh Alexander Raban Waugh (8 July 1898 – 3 September 1981) was a British novelist, the elder brother of the better-known Evelyn Waugh Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (; 28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966) was an English writer of novels, biog ...
in a review for the ''
London Mercury ''The London Mercury'' was the name of several periodicals published in London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in ...
''. In October 2013, an all-time Test World XI was announced to mark the 150th anniversary of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack''. In 1998, an Australian edition of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'' was launched. It ran for eight editions. In 2012, an Indian edition of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'' was launched (dated 2013), entitled ''Wisden India Almanack'', that has been edited by
Suresh Menon Suresh Menon (born 10 January 1967) is an Indian actor, comedian and television personality. Career Menon has appeared in movies including Grand Masti, ''Phir Hera Pheri'', ''Partner (2007 film), Partner'', ''Fool N Final'', ''Krazzy 4'', ''De ...
since its inception.


History

''Wisden'' was founded in 1864 by the English cricketer
John Wisden John Wisden (5 September 1826 – 5 April 1884) was an English cricketer who played 187 first-class cricket matches for three English county cricket teams, Kent County Cricket Club, Kent, Middlesex County Cricket Club, Middlesex and Sussex Coun ...

John Wisden
(1826–84) as a competitor to
Fred Lillywhite Frederick Lillywhite (7 July 1829 – 15 September 1866) was a sports outfitter and cricketing entrepreneur, who organised the first overseas cricket tour by an English team and published a number of reference works about cricket. Cricketing dyn ...

Fred Lillywhite
's ''
The Guide to Cricketers ''The Guide to Cricketers'' was a cricket annual edited by Fred Lillywhite between 1849 and his death in 1866. The title varied somewhat but was generally along the lines of ''The Guide to Cricketers''. It is often referred to as ''Lillywhite's Guid ...
''. Its annual publication has continued uninterrupted to the present day, making it the longest running sports annual in history. The sixth edition was the first published under its current title; the first five were published as ''The Cricketer's Almanack'', with the
apostrophe The apostrophe ( or ) is a punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of wri ...

apostrophe
before the "s".
Charles Pardon Charles Frederick Pardon (28 March 1850 - 18 April 1890) was editor of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'' between 1887 and 1890. His father was the journalist George Frederick Pardon. It was during his time as editor that the Wisden Cricketers of the ...
, with
George Kelly King George may refer to: People * George (given name) * George (surname) Places South Africa * George, Western Cape ** George Airport United States * George, Iowa * George, Missouri * George, Washington * George County, Mississippi * George Air For ...
, founded the
Cricket Reporting Agency The Cricket Reporting Agency (CRA) was founded by Charles PardonCharles Frederick Pardon (28 March 1850 - 18 April 1890) was editor of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'' between 1887 and 1890. His father was the journalist George Frederick Pardon. It ...
(CRA) in 1880. From Pardon's becoming editor of ''Wisden'' in 1887, the editor was nearly always a CRA partner and the CRA was responsible for the editorial production of the ''Almanack'', until in 1965 it merged with the
Press Association PA Media (formerly the Press Association) is a multimedia news agency A news agency is an organization that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organizations, such as newspapers, magazines and All-news radio, radio and N ...
(PA). ''Wisden'' was acquired and published by
Robert Maxwell Ian Robert Maxwell (born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch; 10 June 1923 – 5 November 1991) was a British media proprietor A media proprietor, media mogul or media tycoon refers to a successful entrepreneur or businessperson who controls, ...
's publishing conglomerate, Macdonald, in the 1970s. Cricket fan Sir John Paul Getty, Jr., bought the company, John Wisden & Co., in 1993 and in December 2008 it was sold to
A&C Black A & C Black is a British book publishing company, owned since 2002 by Bloomsbury Publishing Bloomsbury Publishing plc is a British worldwide publishing house of fiction and non-fiction. It is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index The FTS ...
, which is owned by
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital ...
. The company presented the
Wisden Trophy The Wisden Trophy was awarded to the winner of the Test cricket series played between England cricket team, England and the West Indies cricket team, West Indies. It was first awarded in 1963 to commemorate the hundredth edition of Wisden Crick ...
, for Test matches between
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
and
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
, in 1963 to celebrate its 100th edition. In 2013, a history of ''Wisden'' was published: ''The Little Wonder: The Remarkable History of Wisden'', by
Robert Winder Robert Winder, formerly literary editor of ''The Independent'' for five years and Deputy Editor of ''Granta'' magazine during the late 1990s, is the author of ''Hell for Leather'', a book about modern cricket, a book about British immigration, and ...
(). "The Little Wonder" was John Wisden's nickname.


Editions

''Wisden'' is a small-paged but a very thick book (over 1,500 pages in modern editions) with a distinctive bright yellow cover that it has carried since the 75th edition in 1938. Prior to that, covers varied between yellow, buff and salmon pink. That edition was also the first to display the famous
woodcut Woodcut is a relief printing Image:Principle of Relief Printing.svg, The basic concept of relief printing. ''A'' is the block or matrix; ''B'' is the paper; the thick black lines are the inked areas. (The thickness of the ink is greatly exagg ...
of two cricketers, by
Eric Ravilious Eric William Ravilious (22 July 1903 – 2 September 1942) was a British painter, designer, book illustrator and wood-engraver. He grew up in Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest ...
, on its cover. It is published each April, just before the start of the English domestic cricket season. Since 2003 the woodcut has been replaced as the main feature of the front cover by a photograph of a current cricketer, but still appears albeit in a much reduced size. It is produced in both hardcover and softcover versions. Since 2006, a larger format edition has been published on an experimental basis. This is said to be in response to requests from readers who find the print size of the standard edition hard to read. It is around twice the traditional size and was published in a limited edition of 5,000. It is not a large print book as such, as the print will still be of a size found in many standard books. From 2011 an Epub version, ''The Shorter Wisden'', has been available in online bookstores. Described by the publishers as a "distillation of what's best in its bigger brother", it includes the Notes by the Editor, all the articles, reviews and obituaries and the reports on all England's Test matches for the year in question. Excluded are the statistics and other cricket reports contained within the ''Almanack'' proper.


Contents

The contents of a contemporary edition include the following sections:


Comment

Around a hundred pages of articles on cricketing topics, including the introductory "Notes by the Editor", which address often controversial cricket issues and always provoke discussion in the cricketing world.


Awards

The traditional
Wisden Cricketers of the Year The ''Wisden'' Cricketers of the Year are cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicke ...
awards, which date back to 1889, and the Wisden Leading Cricketer of the World award, started in 2004.


Records

Traditionally the main source for key statistics about the game, although it has never attempted to be comprehensive. Nowadays the records section is intended to be complementary to the much more detailed data available online at ''Wisden''s associated website
ESPNcricinfo ''ESPN''cricinfo (formerly known as Cricinfo or CricInfo) is a sports news website exclusively for the game of cricket. The site features news, articles, live coverage of cricket matches (including liveblogs and scorecards), and ''StatsGuru'' ...
.


English cricket

By far the largest section of the book. Hugely detailed coverage, including scorecards of every First class game played in the previous English summer, and summaries of
minor counties The National Counties, known as the Minor Counties prior to 2020, are the cricketing counties of England and Wales that do not have first-class cricket, first-class status. The game is administered by the National Counties Cricket Association (NC ...
, second eleven, university, school and premier
club cricket #REDIRECT Club cricket Club cricket is a mainly amateur, but still formal, form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of ...
, as well as the
Village Cup Village cricket is a term, sometimes pejorative, given to the playing of cricket in rural villages in England and Wales. Many villages have their own teams that play at varying levels in local or regional club cricket leagues. When organised cric ...
.


Overseas cricket

Full coverage of all international cricket and brief coverage of domestic first class cricket outside England.


Law and administration

This short section, 80 pages in the 2010 edition, has information about and addresses of official cricket bodies as well as the full
laws of cricket The ''Laws of Cricket'' is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two oppos ...
, together with appendices. There are also details of meetings held by official bodies, including their major decisions, as well as articles about the Duckworth–Lewis method and Powerplays. The laws have been omitted from the most recent editions.


The Wisden Review

This section includes the Chronicle (noteworthy events from the previous year), reviews of other cricket books published in the year, noteworthy retirements and the highly regarded obituaries section among others.


Book reviews and the Wisden Book of the Year

John Arlott Leslie Thomas John Arlott, Order of the British Empire, OBE (25 February 1914 – 14 December 1991) was an English journalist, author and cricket commentator for the BBC's ''Test Match Special''. He was also a poet and wine connoisseur. With hi ...
wrote the Books section from its inception in the 1950 edition until the 1992 edition, just before he died. Beginning with the 1993 edition the Books section has been written by a different person each year, often someone "with a literary reputation first and a separate enthusiasm for cricket". The first such reviewer was
J. L. Carr Joseph Lloyd Carr (20 May 1912 – 26 February 1994), who called himself "Jim" or "James", was an English novelist, publisher, teacher and eccentric. Biography Carr was born in Thirsk Thirsk is a market town and civil parishes in Englan ...
, and others have included
Sebastian Faulks Sebastian Charles Faulks (born 20 April 1953) is a British novelist, journalist and broadcaster. He is best known for his historical novels set in France – '' The Girl at the Lion d'Or'', ''Birdsong Bird vocalization includes both bird ...

Sebastian Faulks
(1997) and
Leslie Thomas Leslie Thomas, Order of the British Empire, OBE (22 March 1931 – 6 May 2014) was a Welsh author best known for his comic novel ''The Virgin Soldiers''. Early life Thomas was born in Newport, Wales, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. He was orpha ...
(1998). An award for the Wisden Book of the Year was inaugurated in the 2003 edition. The winners have been:


The Almanack

This section contains fixtures for the forthcoming international and English domestic season, the international schedule for the upcoming seven years and the Index of Unusual Occurrences featuring quirky cricketing stories. A selection from recent years includes: Rabbit burns down pavilion; Hot-air balloons stop play; Cricketers arrested for dancing naked; Fine leg arrives by parachute; Fried calamari stopped play; Umpire locked in ground overnight..


Editors

''Wisden'' has had seventeen editors: * W. H. Crockford/W. H. Knight (1864-69) * W. H. Knight (1870-79) * G. H. West (1880-86) * Charles F. Pardon (1887-90) *
Sydney Pardon Sydney Herbert Pardon (23 September 1855 – 20 November 1925) was a sports journalist who was the editor of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'' for 35 editions, from 1891 until his death. His father was the journalist George Frederick Pardon. He to ...
(1891-1925) * C. Stewart Caine (1926-33) * Sydney J. Southerton (1934-35) * Wilfrid H. Brookes (1936-39) * Haddon Whitaker (1940-43) * Hubert Preston (1944-51) *
Norman Preston Norman Preston, Member of the Order of the British Empire, MBE (18 March 1903 – 6 March 1980) was an England, English cricket journalist. He began his career with the old Pardon's Cricket Reporting Agency in 1933 and served on three overse ...
(1952-80) *
John Woodcock John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname), including a list of people who have the name John John may also refer to: New Testament Works *Johannine literature ** Gospel of John, a title often shortened to ...
(1981-86) * Graeme Wright (1987-92, 2001-02) *
Matthew Engel Matthew Lewis Engel (born 11 June 1951) is a United Kingdom, British writer, journalist and editor. Early life and education Engel was born in Northampton, son of solicitor Max David Engel (1912-2005) and Betty Ruth (née Lesser). His grandfather ...
(1993-2000, 2004-07) *
Tim de Lisle Timothy John March Phillipps de Lisle (born 25 June 1962) is a British writer and editor who is a feature writer for ''The Guardian'' and other publications, focusing on cricket and rock music. Early life and education De Lisle is the second son ...
(2003) *
Scyld Berry Anthony Scyld Ivens Berry, known as Scyld Berry (pronounced "Shild", born 28 April 1954) is an English journalist and cricket correspondent of the ''Daily Telegraph''. He was editor of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'' from 2008 until 2011. He was p ...
(2008-11) *
Lawrence Booth Lawrence Booth ( – 1480) served as Bishop of Durham, Prince-Bishop of Durham and Lord Chancellor, Lord Chancellor of England, before being appointed Archbishop of York. Life The illegitimate son of John Booth, lord of the manor of Bart ...
(2012 to present) Booth's deputy, promoted to the role of co-editor, is Hugh Chevallier.


Contributors

''Wisden'' has had a large number of contributors. The majority involve match reports for the various fixtures recorded each year, but also biographies, reviews and opinion. Many great cricket writers have written for ''Wisden'', along with many great cricketers.
Neville Cardus Sir John Frederick Neville Cardus, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, CBE (2 April 188828 February 1975) was an English writer and critic. From an impoverished home background, and mainly self-educated, he became ''The Manchester Gua ...
contributed many notable essays and for many years
John Arlott Leslie Thomas John Arlott, Order of the British Empire, OBE (25 February 1914 – 14 December 1991) was an English journalist, author and cricket commentator for the BBC's ''Test Match Special''. He was also a poet and wine connoisseur. With hi ...
was responsible for the book reviews.


Five Cricketers of the Year

Since 1902 (with the occasional exception) ''Wisden'' has honoured five cricketers for their outstanding achievements over the previous year. Further details, with a full list of recipients of the award, can be found at
Wisden Cricketers of the Year The ''Wisden'' Cricketers of the Year are cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicke ...
.


Indices and anthologies

At least two indices to ''Wisden'' have been published: * ''Index to Wisden, 1864–1943'' by Rex Pogson (1944) * ''An Index to Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1864–1984'' by Derek Barnard (1985) An index from 1985 onwards is available in pdf form on the ''Wisden'' web site. A number of anthologies of articles from ''Wisden'' have been published. These include: * ''Wisden Anthology'' by Benny Green (1979) * ''Wisden Book of Obituaries'' edited by Benny Green (1986) * ''The Wisden Papers of
Neville Cardus Sir John Frederick Neville Cardus, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, CBE (2 April 188828 February 1975) was an English writer and critic. From an impoverished home background, and mainly self-educated, he became ''The Manchester Gua ...
(Wisden Papers)'' edited by Benny Green (1989) * ''The Wisden Papers'' edited by Benny Green (1990) * ''The Concise Wisden: An Illustrated Anthology of 125 Years'' edited by Benny Green (1990) * ''Wisden Anthology: 1864–1900'' edited by Benny Green (1992) * ''Wisden Anthology: 1901–1939'' edited by Benny Green (1992) * ''Wisden Anthology: 1940–1963'' edited by Benny Green (1992) * ''Wisden Anthology: 1964–1982'' edited by Benny Green (1992) * ''Endless Summer: 140 Years of Australian Cricket in Wisden'' edited by
Gideon Haigh Gideon Clifford Jeffrey Davidson Haigh (born 29 December 1965) is an English-born Australian journalist and non-fiction author who writes about sport (especially cricket), business and crime in Australia. He was born in London, was raised in Gee ...
(2003) * ''The Wisden Collection: Volume 1'' edited by Graeme Wright (2004) * ''The Wisden Collection: Volume 2'' edited by Graeme Wright (2005) * ''Wisden at Lords: An Illustrated Anthology'' edited by Graeme Wright (2005) * ''Wisden Anthology: 1978–2006: Cricket's Age of Revolution'' edited by
Stephen Moss Stephen Moss (born in 1960) is an English natural history, natural historian, birder, author, and television producer. Biography He is best known for producing wildlife series, many of them presented by Bill Oddie, including: *''Birding with ...

Stephen Moss
(2006)


Style, design, graphical content and materials

For the first 32 years of its existence the ''Almanack'' was only published in softback form, in a paper cover that varied in colour through the years between shades of pink, yellow and buff. From the 33rd (1896) edition onwards hardback copies became available at twice the price of the softback. In 1889 the ''Almanack'' published its first photoplate, commissioned to accompany the Editor's nomination of six great Bowlers of the Year. From then on a photoplate appeared each year up to and including 1915. The plates were attached to an un-numbered page in the ''Almanack'' and had a tissue protector. They continued to show a number of selected players of the year except in 1896, when
W G Grace William Gilbert Grace (18 July 1848 – 23 October 1915) was an English Amateur status in first-class cricket, amateur cricketer who was important in the development of the sport and is widely considered one of its greatest players. He played ...
was the only subject, and in 1913, when the 50th edition published no selections but celebrated
John Wisden John Wisden (5 September 1826 – 5 April 1884) was an English cricketer who played 187 first-class cricket matches for three English county cricket teams, Kent County Cricket Club, Kent, Middlesex County Cricket Club, Middlesex and Sussex Coun ...

John Wisden
himself. After a two-year hiatus during World War 1 the plate reappeared in 1918, but as a mechanically printed image depicting five School Bowlers of the Year. The image in the 1919 edition continued to reflect wartime exigencies with its five Public School Cricketers of the Year before normal service resumed in 1920 with five Batsmen of the Year. From then on, with four exceptions (see
Wisden Cricketers of the Year The ''Wisden'' Cricketers of the Year are cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicke ...
), the norm was to include an image of five Cricketers of the Year. It was not until 1938 that other photographs were introduced. From 1933 to 1939 the softback editions of the ''Almanack'' contained a cricket bat bookmark attached by the blade to the inside of the spine with yellow string. The bat handle of the bookmark is easily lost and softbacks with entirely intact bookmarks command a price premium. In 1938 the ''Almanack'' underwent some significant style, design and material changes under the supervision of Robert Henry Harling. He introduced a new typeface and new designs for the front covers of both the softback and hardback editions. A yellow linen cover featuring the iconic woodcut by
Eric Ravilious Eric William Ravilious (22 July 1903 – 2 September 1942) was a British painter, designer, book illustrator and wood-engraver. He grew up in Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest ...
replaced the paper wrapper of the softback edition – a reason why softbacks from this time onwards are often referred to as "linens" even though they changed to a cloth-effect card binding in 1957. The design of the softback from 1938 onwards is probably the one most associated with the word "Wisden" in the mind of the general public. There was a change to the orientation of the gilt lettering on the spines of hardbacks from 1941 to 1948. This was probably required by, and then a relict of, the slimness of the volumes published during World War 2. Excepting the 1963 centenary softback, the external appearance of both types of the ''Almanack'' then remained substantially unchanged until 1965 when the hardback was issued with a dust jacket. This was printed on yellow paper with the same design as the softback, giving a uniformity of appearance to both formats. Between 1965 and 1978 the woodcut and text elements of the softback covers and the hardback dust jackets were printed in a variety of colours before reverting to black on yellow from 1979 onwards. Since that time some other changes have occurred to the style, design and materials: *Between 1982 and 1984 the hardback dust jackets were printed on white paper *Colour photographs first appeared in the ''Almanack'' in 1988 *From 1994 the hardback dust jackets were laminated, making them more resistant to wear and tear *In 2001 the layout of the front board of the hardback was changed *In 2003 a new style of photo dust jacket was introduced, although readers were informed that those who preferred the "traditional cover" could order one free from the publisher. This offer did not last: from the following year onwards a charge was made for providing these covers. Minor changes of style have taken place throughout the ''Almanack''s history, and are documented in a collector's guide that was updated and reprinted in 2011.


Facsimile editions

Due to their rarity the early editions of ''Wisden'', and editions published during the two World Wars, are rare and expensive. However, every edition up to 1946 is also available in facsimile form. The first facsimile set was printed by Billing & Sons in 1960. Approximately 150 softback copies were produced of each year from 1864 to 1878 and made available either as part of a set or as singles. The facsimiles are clearly marked with an entry in capital letters at the bottom of the title page: "Facsimile edition 1960 made and printed in Great Britain by Billing and Sons Ltd., Guildford and London". Lowe and Brydone produced another print run of the first 15 years in 1974. The run was limited again to 150 softback sets. These facsimiles are marked with an entry in capital letters at the bottom of the title page: "Second facsimile edition made and printed in Great Britain by Lowe and Brydone (Printers) Limited". In 1991 John Wisden & Co Ltd produced its own facsimile set in a distinctive yellow box. This again comprised editions from 1864 to 1878 inclusive and was limited to 1000 sets. The individual books are not strictly facsimiles, and cannot be mistaken for originals, because although they include a copy of the original covers they are hardbound in red boards with "''WISDEN'' FACSIMILE" in gilt on the front and the set number – "No. X of 1000" – on the back. Internally there is also an entry to the effect that the editions are facsimiles at the bottom of each title page: "This facsimile edition is published in 1991 by John Wisden & Co. Ltd. and printed by The Eastern Press Ltd., Reading". In recent years a more extensive range of facsimiles has been produced by the Willows Publishing Company Ltd. As of early 2014, softback and hardback editions up to and including 1946 have been published. Like the ''Wisden'' facsimile set, the Willows softback facsimiles up to 1937 are hardbound, in tan cloth with gilt embossing, but from 1938 onwards they are true facsimiles with yellow linen covers. The hardback editions are also true facsimiles, with dark brown covers upon which the original gilt embossing is reproduced. Internally all Willows editions are identified as reprints at the base of the title page and limited edition numbers, where applicable, are also marked on the binding or cover. The first three facsimile sets reproduced the wrong back cover for the 1878 edition – they incorrectly showed a list of articles supplied by John Wisden & Co. The Willows facsimile contains the correct advertisement, for a book on Oxford and Cambridge cricket matches from 1827 to 1876. To celebrate the 150th edition, a facsimile of the 1864 edition was offered by John Wisden & Co as an incentive for those who subscribed to both the 2013 and 2014 editions. The facsimile offer was repeated in 2014 for those willing to subscribe to the ''Almanack'' by direct debit. This is not a true facsimile as the back cover does not reproduce the "List of Articles" of the original, but instead on the inside there is an advertisement for ''Wisden'' reprints from the Willows Publishing Company and on the back a celebration of 150 years of ''Wisden''. At the bottom of the back cover information is provided about the reprint: "This reprint of the first edition of ''Wisden'' was produced in 2013 for the publisher, John Wisden & Co, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Printed and bound by MPG Books." Facsimile dust jackets are available for editions of ''Wisden'' from 1965 to 2003 to replace those that have been lost or damaged. They are also offered from 2004 onward as "traditional covers" that can be substituted for the original photo dust jackets. Supplied by ''Wisden''s "official dust jacket supplier", these jackets are laminated and are printed in black on yellow (unlike the original jackets issued with the editions from 1965 to 1978 that incorporated colour elements). Replacement dust jackets are also clearly distinguishable from the originals as they are marked on the back cover with the words "REPLACEMENT DUST JACKET". The same supplier offers traditional design dust jackets for editions from 1946 to 1964. Although these mimic the appearance of the softback covers they are not true facsimiles as the original hardback editions were never issued with dust jackets. On 1 December 2018 Willows Publishing sold all their remaining stock of circa 2500 books to www.wisdenauction.com


Print runs

The size of ''Wisden'' print runs is of considerable interest to collectors as rarity has a very strong influence on the value of individual editions. The most reliable, or rather most widely quoted, source of information on print runs is an article by Leslie Gutteridge titled "A History of ''Wisden''" published in the 1963 ''Almanack''. In this article the writer states that it had proved impossible to trace any printing orders earlier than 1936, having earlier mentioned that records had been lost during the Second World War as a result of two attacks on the publisher and Wisden's Mortlake factory. Despite the lack of early records Gutteridge notes that editions from 1889 to 1901, except 1896 and 1900, ran to two impressions (''the word "impression" rather than "edition" is used throughout this section to avoid confusion with Wisden's use of "edition" in the book's title''). He also notes in passing the rarity of the 1875 edition, though "not ... so scarce as the first issue of 1864", without providing specific details. It is for the years from 1936 onwards that Gutteridge puts numbers to the print runs, providing either combined figures, or a breakdown of softback and/or hardback numbers, for each year to 1949: After 1949 he notes that numbers diminished, although at the time he wrote the article sales of the softback and hardback editions were still 11,000 and 10,000 respectively. It is likely that these figures were greatly exceeded in the centenary year as the 1963 edition ran to three impressions. In more recent years sales of the 2006 edition exceeded 50,000 in total. The size of the print run was based on the publisher's belief that England's successful
Ashes Ashes may refer to: *ash Ash or ashes are the solid remnants of fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), product ...

Ashes
campaign the previous summer would attract considerable public interest. Although unsupported by any reliable documentation, it is almost certain that print runs were reduced during the First World War. The 1916 edition, also containing as it does the obituary of
W G Grace William Gilbert Grace (18 July 1848 – 23 October 1915) was an English Amateur status in first-class cricket, amateur cricketer who was important in the development of the sport and is widely considered one of its greatest players. He played ...
, is the most expensive 20th century ''Wisden''. The smallest recent print runs are believed to be for the years 1969 to 1971.


Collecting ''Wisden''s

Collecting ''Wisden''s is popular among cricket followers, and early editions command high prices. The first edition, only 112 pages long, sold for one
shilling The shilling is a historical coin, and the name of a unit of modern currencies A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-D ...
. Rare copies of the early editions can sell for thousands of pounds.


See also

*''
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack Australia {{italic title ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack Australia'' (also known as ''Wisden Australia'') was a cricket annual and reference book, the Australian version of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'', generally known as ''Wisden''. The Australian edition' ...
'' *''
Wisden Asia Cricket ''Wisden Asia Cricket'' was a monthly English language cricket magazine produced by the British-based cricket publishing company Wisden Group, Wisden. History and profile ''Wisden Asia Cricket'' was founded in 2001. The first issue was publish ...
'' *
Wisden 100 The Wisden 100 is a set of lists created by ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, Wisden'' which attempted to objectively rate the 100 best individual innings performances in Test cricket, Test and One Day International cricket in each of the discipline ...


References

{{reflist


External links


''Wisden'' website


from Cricinfo

from Cricinfo

from
Cricinfo ''ESPN''cricinfo (formerly known as Cricinfo or CricInfo) is a sports news website exclusively for the game of cricket. The site features news, articles, live coverage of cricket matches (including liveblogs and scorecards), and ''StatsGuru'' ...

Wisdens.org
Unofficial collectors website
''Wisden'' Collectors Club

The new home of the Willows Reprint
from WisdenAuction.Com Wisden Cricket collectibles Cricket books Almanacs Sports reference works Publications established in 1864 1864 establishments in the United Kingdom