In the new issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly, out on December 7, we speak to Travis Head, the standout batter of 2023, about his World Cup heroics in India. Player of the Match in both the semi-final and final, the Aussie opener tells Phil Walker he feared he wouldn’t feature in the tournament at all, and reflects on his magnificent title-clinching century in Ahmedabad.
Elsewhere in a 20-page review of the Men’s World Cup, we hear from Jonathan Trott on his Afghan adventure, there’s in-depth analysis on England’s miserable tournament, and Matt Roller reflects on India’s latest failure to win a global trophy.
We’ve got all bases covered in a wide-ranging magazine: Heather Knight reacts to Meg Lanning’s retirement in an exclusive column, Phil Walker explores the many lives of the great Wes Hall, Jo Harman considers Bishan Bedi’s legacy and AB de Villiers talks about the past and future of South African cricket in an in-depth conversation with Mel Farrell.
There’s also Taha Hashim’s re-examination of England’s 2013/14 Ashes horror show, Anya Shrubsole talks Euan Crumley through the defining moments of her career, Nick Compton discusses the “blessing and curse” of his family name, John Stern reports on Middlesex’s travails, and there are hard-hitting columns from Lawrence Booth, Katya Witney and Andrew Miller.
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:
“It felt like we fielded for about five hours and batted for about 15 minutes. I looked up and we needed 25-30 runs to win, and it was like, ‘Holy moly, we’re gonna pull this off’. It was just an incredible couple of hours with Marnus, a magical couple of hours.”
Travis Head speaks to Phil Walker about his World Cup-winning century
“If you could amalgamate the two, you’d have something close to Virat Kohli, a real monster on your hands. Those two can be as good as they want to be, in all three formats.”
Jonathan Trott on Afghanistan’s chalk-and-cheese opening pair, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran
“It’s not as though ‘county cricket’ and ‘crisis’ are unaccustomed to sharing a headline. And yet, it feels different this time, because the sport’s internal dynamics have shifted irrevocably since The Hundred crashed into the conversation. All of a sudden, the focus is less on the old men in the boardroom, and more on the young men in the nets, many of whom have stopped believing that the clubs which have nurtured them are still capable of delivering on their dreams.”
Andrew Miller on county cricket’s talent pooling
“It’s all evolving but there’s still room for guile and clever changes of pace. Teasing them out, luring them out. You’ve just got to be smart, read what the batter is trying to do and outfox them. That’s the real beauty of it.”
Phil Tufnell considers the evolving art of finger spin following the death of Indian great Bishan Bedi
“Meg [Lanning] was always laser-focused on what she had to do, and that focus defined her. Like she said in the press conference, ‘If I’m in, I’m all in’, and I witnessed that. It was constantly about making Australia this unbelievable team, and Meg did what she had to do to get them there.”
England captain Heather Knight describes what it’s like to take on Meg Lanning following the Australian captain’s sudden retirement
“My youngster accidentally kicked me on my eye with his heel. I started really losing vision in the right eye. When I got the surgery done the doctor actually asked me, ‘How in the world did you play cricket like this?’. Luckily my left eye did a decent job for the last two years of my career.”
AB de Villiers reveals to Mel Farrell that he was playing with diminished eyesight for the latter part of his extraordinary career
“Emotionally, I probably should have lived next door to my family, worked at the local school, confronted fewer demons. But on the other side there’s this huge ambition to do something with my life.”
Nick Compton reflects on the impact his mental health struggles and family name have had on his journey in the game
“People will always remember great players. But they will really remember the ones that made them feel good.”
The great Wes Hall speaks to WCM
“I feel really fortunate to have been involved in such a transformative period of women’s cricket in this country. If I were to play now for the next 15 years, there might be more money involved, but actually I feel really lucky to have played during the period I did.”
Anya Shrubsole picks out the key moments from her wicket-laden career
“It’s not something you want to get dragged into and it can be destabilising. There have been issues with other counties and when you look from the outside you don’t think it’ll ever be an issue for your club.”
Tim Murtagh on the off-field challenges facing Middlesex