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Wisden Cricket Monthly issue 66 – The county cricket issue

by Wisden Staff 8 minute read

In the latest issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly, out March 30, we look forward to the new season with a bumper County Championship preview including analysis of how the 18 counties are shaping up, a selection of emerging stars to keep tabs on, and features on two clubs with big ambitions.


We also speak to four county skippers about the unique challenges that come with the role and consider 10 burning questions ahead of the 2023 campaign.


Elsewhere in the magazine we have an exclusive interview with England’s mouthy metronome Ollie Robinson, Graeme Smith talks to Mel Farrell about the precarious balance between Test and franchise cricket, Jo Harman examines Nat Sciver-Brunt’s unusual route to cricketing stardom and, in a special investigation, Phil Walker considers whether the price of Test match tickets is out of control in this country.

We also hear from Danny Morrison about his colourful life in the game, Dan Lawrence on the cricket ground that changed his life, and Alex Tudor shares his fast-bowling tips ahead of the new season.

As for our columnists, the returning Mark Ramprakash draws on his own experiences to tackle the issue of dressing-room culture, Lawrence Booth argues the Yorkshire racism hearing offers no signs of closure, and Andrew Miller says the women’s game can learn from the men’s mistakes.

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10 standout quotes from the new issue:

“I enjoy every single facet of the game. Whether it’s a bit of needle or a battle, or whether we’re in the field for 90 overs, it’s a sadistic love of the grind and the dirt. The body’s hurting? I love all of it.”
Ollie Robinson talks to Phil Walker about a “surreal” start to his Test career

“There was mickey-taking which was very close to the mark and at times the Middlesex dressing room was an unpleasant place to be. It could often lead to anxiety, embarrassment, anger and stress, and there were plenty of people who didn’t succeed in that environment.”
Returning columnist Mark Ramprakash reflects on dressing-room culture in his own playing career and how it’s changed since

“I just hate those games when people are dead on their feet – that doesn’t benefit anyone. I think something has to give at some stage. It’s unsustainable at this point in time.”
As part of our captains’ roundtable, Kent skipper Sam Billings expresses his concerns about the county schedule

“There are still going to be times when you’re playing someone who’s very close to you in the table where you can’t be happy to lose while trying to win. I don’t think that will happen in county cricket. We definitely won’t do it.”
Notts captain Steven Mullaney on Bazball in the county game

“When you look at Mumbai Indians versus UP Warriorz, for instance, and see Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver-Brunt and Harmanpreet Kaur lining up against Alyssa Healy, Deepti Sharma and Sophie Ecclestone, it’s possible to pierce the preconceptions that the men’s internationally weighted heritage has forced upon us, and recognise that a league-based future could actually be the optimum vehicle for global growth.”
Andrew Miller says the flourishing women’s game can learn from the men’s missteps

“Those top nations have a responsibility to represent the game. What is the game if it’s only left with three or four nations that can play it? Everyone talks about keeping Test cricket strong or keeping the bilateral game strong, but you need each other to do that. And if you’re not going to manage that process or be fair in those processes, then it is an extreme challenge.”
Graeme Smith speaks to Mel Farrell about the future of Test cricket

“Rafiq has been a momentous figure in cricket’s self-reckoning. He has created the space for others to come forward, while his testimony has obliged the ECB to explain themselves to politicians. But progress towards a more welcoming sport is hindered if that sport appears to be caught up in a tit-for-tat about who said what 14 years ago.”
Lawrence Booth on the Yorkshire racism hearing

“When Katherine was coach, she used to run the food diaries. They had to be in at 12 on a Thursday, and Wednesday was the big sports night at the union, so everyone always went out. Every Thursday at 11 everyone would be like, ‘Shit, I haven’t done my food diary again!’ We’d all be hungover with our laptops out, copying and pasting things from two weeks ago. Katherine gave me a food diary over Christmas once which was very strict! She was a very good influence in getting me to think about it a bit more seriously.”
Nat Sciver-Brunt speaks to Jo Harman about her unusual journey to stardom and the influence her wife and teammate Katherine has had on her career

“For a while, I had the record for most ducks in Tests. They had all sorts of nicknames for me. Duck King, Duck Champion, Duck Hunter. I even launched a duck-caller for hunters.”
Danny Morrison talks Aadam Patel through the highs and lows of his career

“I think everyone finds what they love eventually. I was just lucky enough to find it when I was really young. From the age of 12 or 13 I never really wanted to be anything else but a cricketer. I owe Chingford CC everything really, it’s a very special place.”
Dan Lawrence on the cricket ground which changed his life

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