Wisden Anthology 1978-2006
In the early 1980s "Wisden" published four anthologies that celebrated the best of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack stretching back to its first edition in 1864. Edited by the respected jazz musician, raconteur and cricket-lover, Benny Green, these volumes proved very popular. "Wisden" readers have long awaited a fifth, updated volume to cover the intervening period, marked by all-time greats like Viv Richards, Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Brian Lara and Shane Warne. "The Wisden Anthology 1978-2006" meets this demand, though it does not follow the style of the Benny Green volumes. Rather than selecting random highlights, Stephen Moss has edited this anthology with the aim of painting a coherent picture of cricket's evolution over the past 30 years. Quite simply it is a story of revolution, beginning in Test cricket's centenary year when England regained the Ashes, Geoffrey Boycott scored his hundredth hundred, Ian Botham took five for 74 on debut, and Kerry Packer's millions ensured the era of deferential players earning a pittance was over for good. Thirty years on, for better or worse, cricket has changed radically. The top players form a highly paid elite who rarely venture beyond the international arena television calls the tune the political balance of power has shifted towards Asia one-day cricket in coloured clothing is ubiquitous and run-rates rise inexorably while batsmen tear bowlers to pieces as never before. To the gnarled old pros of the 1950s the game must be unrecognisable. A genuine revolution, charted in 40,000 Wisden pages over the past 30 years, is now distilled into a 720-page anthology that selects the matches, players, events and controversies which ushered the game into a brave new century.