When I was a youngster there was always one book that I ensured went with me to every match that I attended - the Playfair Cricket Annual. Within its pages you could find any statistics you needed to ensure that the feats of the match protagonists were only a page turn away. I've not bought one for some time now, as the most up to date information is available on the excellent cricinfo website, saved as an early favourite on the family laptops.
It is from cricinfo that much of the information in the Wisden Guide to
International Cricket 2013 comes, having changed its name to use the
Wisden brand last year to good effect. Where it comes into its own is as a potted
guide to the touring sides, the editor having to second guess the
national selectors of the different teams with his selection of players
for inclusion. So well is it done though that there are unlikely to be
many omissions.Those seeking information on overseas professionals for
the counties will also be rewarded, as the major stars from around the globe
are here from all of the Test-playing nations. The book is now in its seventh year and is an excellent annual addition to the literature of the greatest game.
More than most of its kind it tells you not just what the
players have achieved, but how they play, with the potted biographies both
enlightening and rewarding. Of course, in an age when cricket statistics
are, through cricinfo, only a mouse click away, the statistics are out
of date because of publishing schedules and the sheer quantity of
international cricket these days. Published in November 2012, the book
doesn't reflect the most recent matches around the globe
but one has to expect this and instead appreciate the book for what it
That is 272 pages of information on the top stars of the modern
international game, nicely produced and of a size and price that means
you can have one of the only books you really need on match days and still get decent change from a
What's not to like?
The Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013 is edited by Steven Lynch and published by Bloomsbury. It is currently available on Amazon for £7.59 and is available from all good book shops.