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4.6 out of 5 stars
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2011
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 April 2011
First seeing the light of day in 1864, whereas other products and publications have attempted to`re-invent' themselves, some with disastrous consequences, Wisden Cricketers' Almanac has never found the need to bring itself into the 21st Century. It is what it is, and everyone knows what to expect within its pages; this 148th incarnation of possibly the most eagerly awaited book each year, carries on that tradition. This isn't a book to `um' and `ah' over; you're getting it or you're not. There is no in between.

Strangely, considering the amount of cricket now being played around the world, this year's edition has 80 pages fewer than 2010 but there are some welcome changes to the format this year. Edited by Scyld Berry for the final time, the sections for Records and Births and Deaths of players has been moved to the back of the book and the Obituaries, Cricket Books, Cricket in the Media, etc. are now at the front. I think it's a good idea, as cricketing records don't change that often but there will always be different publications to highlight and the unfortunate passing of people to mention. Another change is each county now has an extra page devoted to their limited over's averages for the past season and current records for List A and Twenty20 matches.

Ah yes, matches. The editor mentions this in his notes at the beginning of the book. Kent, as an example, is scheduled to play a minimum of 46 games this season (most will play at least 44), which could rise to a maximum of 51. Scyld Berry bemoans the increase of Twenty20 matches and the corresponding reduction in attendances in 2010, something that will continue in 2011 due to shortsightedness and greed. It appears the ECB has not only killed the Golden Goose but also incinerated the carcass.

The editorial is its usual gold standard with 15 pages devoted to the Pakistan match fixing scandal, which is why there are only four `Cricketers of the Year' in this edition. The colour photographs never disappoint and, with an increase of 50% to 24, there are some corkers this year, especially one of a match being played on a beach in Fife, Scotland, that is just about to be hit by a downpour, and a nice one of a lad left holding the handle of his bat as the business end flies off into the distance.

Not only is Wisden now on the shelves (although the information on the product page is incorrect; there aren't 1712 pages but 1648), Kent won their opening game of the season and sit second in the fledgling table at the time of this review.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2011
I can summarise this book in just one word "Unbeatable". It's the best cricket reference work on the market by a mile. Clearly written, easy to skim through and packed with all the stats. you'll need for 2011. Particularly like the compact size of the book which makes it easy to pack away and it's also lightweight so ideal for carrying around. I got the hardback version because it doesn't get so crumpled in my bag. Includes plenty of photos, some in colour, and although the book is compact in size the text hasn't suffered in terms of quality and it's plenty big enough to read with comfort. I took advantage of the Amazon deal and picked this Wisden up for approximately half it's normal retail value and they also gave me free p&p so I'm happy!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2011
Ah lovely Wisden! It's great when it shows up each year, a banquet of cricket to gorge on. Previous reviewers have noted the changes this year and you should know that they make a very considerable difference to the handling of the book, a very important and welcome improvement.

Finding the Records at the back right up with Laws is so appropriate and of course easy to flick to that it is the greatest single reorganisation in decades. The Register of past and then current players is there too, very handy. These have pushed the reviews (books, equipment, media, etc.) up to the front with the articles and all the other items current to the year's cricket reporting. Superb! Well done to the editor and staff. These seemingly minor alterations have transformed and immensely improved Wisden.

I frequently moan about the shoddiness of packaging from Amazon with consequent damage to new items; this is not the case this year. The Wisden (paperback) is shrunk wrapped in cellophane and this addition ensured it arrived in perfect condition. Well done John Wisden & Co.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2011
Wisden 2011 is very welcome. Most purchasers will know what to expect and will not be disappointed. For me the quality of the test and first class match reports, county and country reviews, as well as the major tours such as The Ashes, is as high as it has ever been, and a vast improvement of some of what was published in the 1960s and 70s when I first bought Wisden. The editors notes are good, and the shennanigans at the Lords test last year well documented (perhaps over-documented?: it could all be said more briefly). But I do not agree with his decision to announce only 4 cricketers of the year. The book reviews are good (as expected from Gideon Haigh), and the obituaries excellent, as are many other of the short articles. The longer articles are not the best Wisden has seen, nice tributes to Bedser and Bailey contrasting with a misconceived article by Charlie Connolly and tedium from Nassar Hussain. Where are articles by the 2011 equivalents of Fingleton and Peebles? Anyhow, this is not a "vintage" issue (hence 4 stars), and I find myself being increasingly irritated at page after page of pointless one day matches: OK, that's been a problem for a while now but it is getting much worse.

The real problems lie from 2012 onwards. Readers may wish to consult Scyld Berry's article in the Telegraph on April 18 concerning his dismissal as Editor. While he has not been quite as good as Woodcock, Wright and Engel, he has been OK, and merited continuing if he wished: the criticisms above can be remedied quite easily and every so often an issue of Wisden falls back a little. Unlike some I have no concerns about the age of his replacement (Sydney Pardon was 36 when he took over in 1891 and anyone who possesses Benny Green's anthologies will know he was pretty good). The potential problem seems to lie in a publishing house that seeks to adapt Wisden for what they see as the modern world. Whether that is the world Wisden's readers want to move to is unclear to me and it will be for the new editor(s) to ensure Wisden is not pushed in the wrong direction. Are they strong enough?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2011
The usual masterful review of the past year's cricket, in what is Scyld Berry's last year as Editor. England's magnificent Ashes victory in Australia is recounted in sufficient detail to give those who were not fortunate enough to be able to watch it on TV to form a very full picture of events. The year's bribery and corruption scandals are reported, but thankfully not overly so, enabling the focus of the reader to remain on the play and not on the legal dramas. Less successful, I feel, is the reorganization of the Almanack, which has resulted in some material appearing too early in the book. For those like myself, who start at Page 1 and read forward, it would have been preferable to keep the non-game-related material at the back, as has served the readership for decades. The quality of many of the black-and-white photos is questionable, with sizing and subject open to improvement; in these days of HD it would be nice if all the photos could at least be in color. But perhaps these are small quibbles, as overall the publication is an excellent product.
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on 29 October 2011
Scyld carries on the nearly 150 year tradition with his own profound knowledge of the game. But Wisden is so far removed from its slim origins to be getting overpriced and oversized. Its inherent englishness is the charm of wisden - go too international and that's soon lost. Still and all - irresistible!
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on 10 May 2014
The usual triumph of facts, figures and interesting information - a lot of it new to me. What's not to like if you're a cricket enthusiast, except a great deal of time is spent in its pages when I should be doing other things!
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on 23 August 2011
The content good and informative, as usual. Construction very poor. The hard cover has been attached to the pages upside down. How many were made like this, or is it a one-off - in which case could it be valuable???
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on 1 June 2011
I always buy a Wisden for my husband's birthday. By ordering it on Amazon I saved money and time, the book came within a few days and was in perfect condition - no problems at all.
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on 4 January 2013
I collect wisdens and whilst information that is in this book is on the net, if you can find it, I think it is nice to have it in one place by my side!
Very Expensice though!
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