Wisden or to give it its full title – Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack – is an annual publication that gives a statistical and analytical review of cricket played around the world in the preceding twelve months.
Simple enough, well almost.
The first Wisden was published in 1864 and not a year has been missed since, not a mean feat when one considers the historical events of the past 150+ years. In the early years each Wisden primarily contained a selection of scorecards from important cricket matches, along with the Laws of the Game, lists of Umpires and leading scores and highlights. Over time, articles, a comprehensive records section, schools cricket, and overseas cricket became common place and today each yearly almanack stretches to over 1500 pages and covers the game in more depth both statistically and editorially.
Wisden has a very good section on Schools Cricket and a lot of those who played for their particular school love to see their name in Wisden. The players listed has shrunk over the years but around Christmas time the phone is buzzing with requests for a certain year or two when X, Y or Z appeared in Wisden in the School’s section.
Wisden is commonly referred to as ‘the yellow tome’ or ‘the cricketer’s Bible.’