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Wisden Cricket Monthly issue 68 – The definitive Ashes preview

by Wisden Staff 8 minute read

The new issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly, out on June 8, includes our definitive Ashes preview as we look ahead to the most anticipated contests between England and Australia in recent memory.


In a special bumper magazine packed with even more pages than usual, we have exclusive interviews with Harry Brook and Heather Knight, a poignant piece from Geoff Lemon on what the Australian men’s team represents today, a look back at the great (and not so great) Ashes cameos, plus predictions and in-depth analysis on what this summer might bring.

Elsewhere in the magazine, Mel Farrell sits down with four legends from Antigua – Richards, Richardson, Roberts and Ambrose – to talk about their new academy and the state of the world game, Matt Roller delivers an eye-opening piece from the IPL, we give you the latest news on all 18 counties in our County Files, ex-New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming reflects on his outstanding career, and star columnist Mark Ramprakash tells us how to survive the heat of Ashes battle.

We also have an evocative piece on the art of batmaking, hard-hitting columns from Lawrence Booth and Andrew Miller, the latest in our ProCreation series on the Headley family, and Fidel Edwards recalls the net with Brian Lara which changed his life.

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Wisden Cricket Monthly is also available in digital form. You can purchase single issues or sign up for a subscription here.

10 standout quotes from the new issue:

“Just another game. It’s the same ball coming down at me and I’ve got to hit it. I mean, there might be a few more nerves before I go out there and a few days before that, but it’s just another human bowling a little round leather thing at another human. And I’ve got to try and hit it with a bit of wood.”
Harry Brook talks to Phil Walker about his approach to the Ashes

“For all England’s innovation, this is one of the nation’s time-honoured traditions: viewing a world-class keeper as a luxury, expendable when the situation dictates.”
Ben Gardner on the axing of Ben Foakes

“It just feels so different. It feels like those gender barriers are starting to come down now. It’s happened because of The Hundred and how that’s changed perceptions at the ECB; that actually, if we piggyback the men’s game a little bit, we market it properly, if we put it on an equal platform, people will come and watch.”
Heather Knight speaks to Jo Harman about the evolution of the women’s Ashes

“I found the atmosphere of Ashes cricket helped take my mind off other anxieties. All the verbals flying around had a positive effect on me because they stopped me thinking about being nervous or unsure of my place in the side or the fact that I wasn’t necessarily enjoying the England environment, and I could just go out and play the game.”
Mark Ramprakash on the psychology of playing in the Ashes

“It’s easy to trash someone in Cummins’ position: well paid, prominent, taking flights all the time, how dare he criticise? As always, that’s a deflection to invalidate a worthwhile argument. Ultimately, Cummins has a voice because of his job. The job entails the travel and the earnings. The only alternatives are that he forgoes the job and thus the influence, or that he enjoys the advantages while refusing to use his voice for good. Neither is a better arrangement.”
Geoff Lemon on what the Australian men’s cricket team represents today

“You would have to be at the extreme end of the capitalist spectrum to cheer on India’s acceptance of nearly two-fifths of the ICC’s handout – a figure that could make or break cricket in any number of countries, including several Test nations. But you should not be surprised: in November, BCCI secretary Jay Shah became head of the ICC’s finance and commercial affairs committee.”
Lawrence Booth on the ICC’s proposed revenue-distribution model

“I’ve been in negotiations with some franchises where it has been made abundantly clear that their sole interest is the strengthening of the franchise world, and the monopolisation of their teams and leagues.”
A player agent talks to Matt Roller about the shifting landscape of the world game

“All my dad wanted to do was prove to George that he could play.”
Dean Headley on following in the footsteps of genius

“There were players in there who had played a lot more Tests than me but the overall feeling I had was one of support, that it was the start of something. I had absolutely no idea how I wanted to lead the team. It was like captaincy by numbers to start with. I was as green as green could be.”
Stephen Fleming on being named New Zealand captain at the age of 23

“My cousin answered the phone and passed it on to me. She said it was Brian Lara and he wanted to speak to me. Brian told me I had been selected to play for the West Indies but that they weren’t going to announce it for a few days so I had to keep it quiet. I think I waited about five minutes before I told my mum.”
Fidel Edwards on receiving his Test call-up having made just one first-class appearance

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