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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Google Doodle - 187th Birthday of John Wisden

Did you google today…. If yes, you would have noticed this google doodle..

Google doodle may not require any lengthy intro – I have also posted on that on earlier occasions. It is  the Google logo on search page which many a times are animated expressions.  Google puts special doodles marking special occasions and days and today it is about a book that is 150 years now.  Google doodles on homepage of the search engine has made it more fun and enjoyable for the users and nobody ever anticipated that it would become so popular.  Nowadays, many users excitedly anticipate the release of each new doodle and some even collect them!  

Can you bracket : Tim Bresnan, Alastair Cook, Glen Chapple, Alan Richardson, Kumar Sangakkara; Nick Compton, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, & Marlon Samuels…. The first 5 were honoured in 2012 and next 5 are of 2013.  Of the bunch, Alan Richardson is yet to play International cricket, while Glen Chapple has played a solitary One dayer.

They are the Wisden Cricketers of the Years; every year Wisden magazine selects 5 players for the honour in  Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, based primarily on their "influence on the previous English season". The award began in 1889 with the naming of "Six Great Bowlers of the Year",and continued with the naming of "Nine Great Batsmen of the Year" in 1890 and "Five Great Wicket-Keepers" in 1891. Since 1897, with a few notable exceptions, the annual award has recognised five players of the year. No players were named in 1916 or 1917, as the First World War prevented anyfirst-class cricket being played in England.  From 1941 to 1946, the Second World War caused the same issue and no players were named.  From 2000 to 2003 the award was made based on players' impact on cricket worldwide rather than just the preceding season in England, but the decision was reversed in 2004 with the introduction of a separate Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World award.

John Wisden, an English cricketer, who played 187 First class matches,  lives in the memory of cricket fans even today thanks to the 'Bible of Cricket' he started way back in 1864 after his retirement from first class cricket. Although of moderate height, Wisden was said to be the best all-rounder of his day.  In all, he took 1,109 first-class wickets with a bowling average of 10.32 He was also a fine batsman (4,140 first-class runs with a batting average of 14.12, an average which was very good for the time). The book which the Englishman first brought out is now a cricket reference book that is published annually in England, every year now and the annual book is considered the world's most famous sports reference book. In 2013, the 150th edition of the book was published.

Today,  Wisden's 187th birthday is celebrated by google with a doodle using the typical front cover font of the 'Bible of Cricket' also called the 'Wisden Cricketers' Almanack' against the famous yellow background that has been used on every edition cover since 1938.

At the age of 57, Wisden died of cancer in London but thanks to his 'Bible of Cricket' or the 'Wisden Cricketers' Almanack' his name and legacy lives on in the cricket world.

In 1983, when Kapil’s Devils won the Prudential World Cup, the 5 Wisden Cricketers were : Imran Khan, Trevor Jesty, Alvin Kalicharran, Kapil Dev and Malcolm Marshall…… while the rest were great achievers in international cricket, Trevor Edward Jesty played 10 ODIs with a high of 50.  He was in the squad for WC but did not play any match. Following his retirement as a player, Jesty became a cricket umpire in England and served as the reserve umpire for the Fourth Test Match at The Oval between England and Pakistan in 2006.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

5th Sept 2013

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