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ECB to launch annual to rival Wisden

New tome to feature the best of English (and Indian) cricket

Alan Tyers
Giles Clarke and N Srinivasan at the ICC's executive board meeting, London, Friday, October 18, 2013

"That was a very impressive display of bending over backwards for me, Gilesy. Now, I'd like to see you tie your hands behind your back"  •  Getty Images

This week saw the publication of the 151st edition of the "bible of cricket", and so successful has the brand proved that the ECB now wishes to introduce an almanack of its own. The new book will be edited by Giles Clarke and will feature:
Five Cricketers of the Year
Focusing on players who have shown themselves to be highly committed to the team ethos over the course of the year, with especial consideration given to cricketers who are really good blokes to have around the place and/or are very much buying into the project. Success with bat or ball not a contributing factor in the selection process.
Notes from the Editor
The keynote text of the annual, this will be personally written by Giles Clarke (once he has cleared everything with N Srinivasan). Is expected to focus on the single biggest issue facing cricket today: fans possibly watching the odd game on an illegal internet stream.
Detailing all the most important statistical milestones of the past year, including new sponsors, revenue projections, quarterly audit returns on stakeholder interaction, and dosh-maximisation strategies.
The County Game
Probably a page or whatever on this to keep the nerds quiet.
The Amazing T20 Megaslam Spanglefest Thrill Section!
Lavish pull-out colour section with in-built video app that will bring you all the red-hot news, gossip, LOLs, and carefully selected partner marketing suggestions from this year's domestic T20 tournament. Reading and rereading the match report of Devon versus Rutland in the Friday night T20 extravaganza, you'll be so excited that you'll feel you were actually one of the 73 people in the ground.
Coach Station
All the news on England's seemingly endless search for a bloke to put the cones out and sack any of the good players if they get uppity.
The View from Abroad
Whatever equal partner-visionary for world cricket N Srinivasan wants to write about, under the clear proviso that he is absolutely an equal partner and definitely not the one calling the shots. No way. Subject to approval by N Srinivasan.
Umpire Centrefold
All your favourite umpires in a state of undress. Features Richard Illingworth in a mankini, Nigel Llong draped seductively across the bonnet of a Sierra Cosworth, and Richard Kettleborough sending the temperature soaring wearing nothing but a Duckworth Lewis table.
The World Game
In-depth features on cricket in India and Australia, which are believed to be the only two other countries where cricket is played.
Including an in-depth study of the history of how to deal with successful players "Eradication and Carpet-sweeping: A Study" and the correct form of address when being presented to an Indian cricket dignitary: "If I polish your shoes with my tongue, can I have a bit of your money, sir?"

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