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December 23, 2010
A consortium led by Lord Marland have bought the Wisden Cricketer magazine from BSkyB.
The group, which owns the website Test Match Extra, also includes former Leicestershire chairman Neil Davidson, BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, MCC president Christopher Martin-Jenkins and TV analyst Simon Hughes.
The publication is the biggest-selling cricket magazine and will keep its four-man editorial staff but Andrew Bordiss, the former editor of the Evening Standard, will be installed as managing editor. Marland, who unsuccessfully challenged Giles Clarke in January 2009 for chairmanship of the ECB, will own a 60% share of the magazine but he insists his interests are not driven by commercial desire.
"Neil [Davidson] and I are not looking to make our fortunes, but the magazine has a very loyal readership and subscription base," Marland told the Times. "We hope that if England win the Ashes, that will boost the circulation of 30,000-ish a month."
The Wisden Cricketer was launched in September 2003 following the merge of the long-established Cricketer and Wisden Cricket Monthly. It was owned by Cricinfo until being sold to BSkyB in 2006.
Marland believes there are problems in domestic English cricket that must be addressed and has not ruled out standing for the ECB again but he currently has a role as a junior minister in the Conservative-led government. "There are structural difficulties relating to funding and an overcrowded fixture list which should give us cause for concern. I did try to address them through standing for the ECB."
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