The Wisden timeline

1826 John Wisden is born in Brighton on September 5

1845 Wisden plays his first match for Sussex, as a fastish round-arm bowler. He was short (5ft 4ins) and came to be known as "The Little Wonder". He also played for Kent and Middlesex

1850 Wisden takes all ten wickets - all bowled - for North v South at Lord's. He also sets up a sports-goods firm in Leamington

1859 Wisden tours the United States and Canada with the first English cricket team to travel overseas. He disliked the boat voyage and reputedly called for the Atlantic to be given the heavy roller to calm it down

1864 Wisden publishes his first Almanack. It ran to only 112 pages, and to pad it out he included non-cricket items such as dates of battles in the English Civil War, the winners of The Oaks, an account of the trial of Charles I, and the rules of quoiting and knur & spell. It cost a shilling (5p)

1867 The Almanack carries advertisements for the first time, including one for Wisden's own "Catapulta", a bowling machine

1884 John Wisden dies, aged 57, in London

1887 Charles Pardon takes over Wisden, and the Almanack gets into the habit of appearing on time

1889 The award of Wisden Cricketers of the Year is introduced, starting with "Six Bowlers of the Year". The number is reduced to five in 1895, and has remained the same, with very few exceptions, ever since

1891 Sydney Pardon takes over as editor on the death of his brother, Charles. He remains Wisden's longest-serving editor, and was described in 2005 by Matthew Engel, a later incumbent, as its greatest

1892 Comprehensive obituary section introduced

1896 First cloth-bound (hardback) edition published, costing two shillings (10p)

1901 Notes by the Editor introduced

1910 Pardon famously says England selectors have "touched the confines of lunacy"

1915 The price of the paperback edition is increased for the first time since publication began in 1864 - from one shilling to 1/6 (7.5p)

1924 The Almanack contains more than 1,000 pages for the first time, although 1922 ran it close with 998 pages

1925 Sydney Pardon dies, after editing his 35th Wisden

1934 Editor Sydney Southerton attacks Bodyline bowling: "I deplore its introduction and pray for its abolition"

1938 The 75th edition receives a revamp: the famous woodcut of two gentlemen in top hats (by Eric Ravilious, a modernist artist who was to die in the war) adorned the new yellow cover, and the contents were rearranged into roughly the order in which they remained until 2011, when the Records were moved to the back of the book

1941 Wartime paper restrictions meant that only 4,000 Almanacks were printed. The war years - especially 1916, which included the unusually high number of 396 obituaries, including those of WG Grace and Victor Trumper - remain some of the scarcest, and hardest for collectors to obtain

1944 The Wisden factory in Mortlake, south-west London, is largely destroyed by a German bomb

1963 To mark the 100th edition, the company presents the Wisden Trophy, for Test matches between England and West Indies. Neville Cardus names "Six Giants of the Wisden Century (WG Grace, Sir Jack Hobbs, Tom Richardson, SF Barnes, Victor Trumper, Sir Donald Bradman)

1980 Norman Preston, Wisden's second-longest-serving editor, dies in office after producing 28 editions. He is succeeded by John Woodcock

1993 Sir Paul Getty buys John Wisden & Co.

1995 Limited-edition leatherbound edition of the Almanack introduced

2000 For the Millennium edition, Wisden invited a worldwide panel of 100 cricketers and other experts to name their Five Cricketers of the Century. The winners were Bradman and Hobbs again, Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards and Shane Warne. Every single member of the panel voted for Bradman

2003 Wisden's cover features a photograph for the first time: of the England captain Michael Vaughan

2004 A new Wisden honour is introduced - The Leading Player in the World. Ricky Ponting is the first recipient

2006 To mark England's recapture of the Ashes, Wisden publishes a large-format edition for the first time

2008 John Wisden & Co. is bought by the Bloomsbury Publishing Group

2009 England's Claire Taylor is the first woman to be named as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year

2011 Wisden breaks with tradition by naming only four Cricketers of the Year. The selection of the fifth became unsustainable after an independent tribunal appointed by the ICC banned him for corruption

© John Wisden & Co
 
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!