Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2006 March 17, 2006

Wisden goes large

For the first time in its 143-year history Wisden Cricketers' Almanack will be available in two sizes - the traditional one and a special-edition large format. The bigger version is around twice the normal size and only 5,000 will be published - each individually numbered and in a slipcase.

The new format is a result of regular requests from readers who find the small print difficult to read. But aficionados and collectors need not fear: the small size will be the main version, available in all the usual bookshops. Christopher Lane, Wisden's managing director, says: "We are definitely not canning the traditional format but a number of readers, particularly older ones, have said they find its small print hard to read. We are not trying to wean people off any traditions and are making no long-term plans. If people say they like it, I have little doubt we'll do it again."

The large format will be more expensive - £50 as against £38. And this is not a new idea. At a launch dinner in the early 1980s the late Robert Maxwell hinted at changing Wisden's format. The shock waves through the cricket-watching fraternity were enough to cause the owners - then Gray's of Cambridge - to withdraw his licence to publish the book.

The 2006 Almanack is a special edition for all England supporters, chronicling England's Ashes triumph. The cover features the two leading characters from the series, Shane Warne and Andrew Flintoff . Inside there are articles by Simon Barnes, Paul Hayward and Mark Taylor.

Click here to pre-order the 2006 Almanack for only £28 and the large-format version for £45.

Edward Craig is deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer