The new issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly, out on August 17, celebrates two stunning Ashes series and includes a joint interview with England’s freewheeling openers, Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett. “Somehow it just works,” says Duckett of a no-holds-barred partnership which set the tone for England this summer.
We also hear from Usman Khawaja, the leading run-scorer in the series, who talks Aadam Patel through his eventful summer and his approach to tackling “the hardest job in Test cricket”, a selection of new and returning fans tell us why they’ve fallen for the Ashes and we select the sides for the Brisbane Ashes Test of 2025. Katya Witney also reports on a women’s series which broke new ground on and off the pitch.
Elsewhere in the magazine, Kumar Sangakkara tells Mel Farrell he wishes he’d been a Bazballer, we have in-depth analysis of the ICEC report into cricket’s inequalities and examine how the game needs to change, Shaun Tait talks Saj Sadiq through his hair-raising career, and Alex Tudor and his dad Darrell tell Jo Harman how the Surrey and England quick reached the pinnacle of the game.
We also have news from all 18 counties, including interviews with Essex skipper Tom Westley and Durham’s Ollie Robinson, and the usual brilliance from our columnists: Mark Ramprakash considers the dilemma of when to retire, Andrew Miller bemoans the demise of the West Indies, Lawrence Booth asks if the rest of the world will follow Bazball’s lead, and England seamer Ollie Robinson pays tribute to Stuart Broad.
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:
“Even last year to some extent, with Baz and Stokes coming in, I didn’t fully buy into it, and it wasn’t until this winter that I decided to play my own game and be more aggressive. I wish I’d done it a bit earlier in my career.”
Zak Crawley on embracing Bazball
“What, have you heard something? Because it’s actually true! I thought, why not bring out my own range, see if they sell? So I spoke to my agent who’s sounded out a few companies and we’ll see how it goes…”
Ben Duckett on the possible launch of the Duckett Hat™
“I was a 17-year-old kid who thought he had a bit of pull. It just so happened they were looking for security guards at The Oval so I thought I’d ask the question. I said, ‘If you want me bad enough, you’ll have to give my dad a job’. And they did. It was a double signing!”
Alex Tudor on signing for Surrey
“When you have this kind of change happening, of course no one wants to be remembered for having played this format the less exciting way. Some had the elite skills, perhaps a lot more so than many of the players in the current England team, but they played the entirety of their Test careers at a different tempo with a different mindset. I wish that I had played my cricket with the freedom that this team exhibits.”
Kumar Sangakkara made more than 28,000 runs for Sri Lanka, but tells Mel Farrell he wishes he’d gone about things differently
“As a general rule, cricketers tend to play on too long. I know I did. We spend years devoting ourselves to the game, living and breathing it, and to leave that behind is a very big deal. People shouldn’t underestimate that.”
Mark Ramprakash on knowing when to retire
“I’m free now because I just don’t care anymore. I lost my contract and got dropped by Australia for what felt like the last time. I’m literally playing to enjoy myself now. Every game’s a bonus. There’s none of that extra stuff going on in my brain anymore. Mentally, I’m so clear and free.”
Usman Khawaja speaks to Aadam Patel about his prolific Ashes series
“If the same rising tide that has been lapping at the Caribbean’s shores is all of a sudden creeping up England’s cliff-face too, then it’s quite possible that the ECB are about to find themselves – not for the first time in the T20 revolution – a decade off the pace.”
Andrew Miller argues West Indies’ failure to qualify for the men’s 50-over World Cup should serve as a wake-up call to boards who underestimate the pulling power of the ever-expanding T20 franchise circuit
“It can’t be swept under the carpet and these conversations absolutely should continue. I know there are people, sadly some in leadership roles, who may not want to recognise that there is an issue. Some have said it’s all a load of rubbish, and I don’t see that at all.”
Isa Guha is part of our roundtable responding to the findings of the ICEC report
“Not everyone can play Bazball, even if they wanted to. But Test cricket is in the midst of a reckoning, and it can be tempting to see every series as a referendum on its fate. If you are unable to entertain, don’t expect past glories to shoulder the burden.”
Lawrence Booth considers whether the rest of the world will follow England’s lead
“I see a lot of myself in Naseem Shah. He’s a bit of a free spirit and he likes to do things his own way. I loved working with him and his talent is just phenomenal. He’s possibly the best fast bowler I’ve ever seen at his age. He swings the new ball both ways, he can reverse swing the old ball, he takes pace off really well, and he has good yorkers. I realise there’s no such thing as the perfect bowler, but he’s nearly there.”
Shaun Tait on Pakistan speedster Naseem Shah