2005

The 142nd edition was notable as for the first time in 45 years, all five Wisden Cricketers of the Year were English (only the third time since the Second World War, the other years being 1953 and 1960). It was also the most up-to-date, containing a report of England's tour of South Africa, which finished only a week before the book went to press. The Editor's Notes again took no prisoners with attacks on the ECB for selling television rights to satellite, the world's cricket boards in general ("it would not be difficult to argue that a majority of their governing bodies could, in varying degrees, be classified as either incompetent, corrupt, government-controlled or racist"), and the scheduling of the summer's Ashes ("total madness). Features ranged from Richie Benaud's tribute to Keith Miller to also an exclusive interview with the Slovak goalkeeper Maros Kolpak whose European Court case against the German handball league has led to an influx of overseas players into county cricket ("When he was told that cricketers are known as `Kolpak players', he roared with laughter"). The Almanack also included what is believed to be its first-ever pin-up. The near-nudity of Minki van der Westhuizen, girlfriend of South African captain Graeme Smith, was, of course, entirely essential to the plot.
Editor Matthew Engel
Pages 1648
Price £36

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