The 155th edition of Wisden, the cricketing bible is here. Three of this year’s five Cricketers of the Year are women, with one, Somerset’s Anya Shrubsole on the front cover.A perennial topic of interest in each new Almanack is the identity of the Five.It has always been a carefully-guarded secret until the embargo on publicity is lifted the day before publication. In the 1963 edition Leslie Gutteridge posed the question, ‘Why is it that we rarely guess all the five in advance, and yet agree with the final choice?’ Few in 1963 would have ventured to predict that three out of the five chosen in 2018 would be women(Women’s Cricket received precisely one page in the Centenary Edition).
Two men also honoured are Jamie Porter from Essex and the West Indian Shai Hope.
Wisden has always been a stellar read, a book to be dipped into time and time again, not only for its features but for its stats, records and up-to-date tour information including the 2017-18 Ashes summer. A run of Wisden is very valuable… superannuation at its most pleasurable, an ideal hedge against inflation. — KP