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Wisden Cricket Monthly issue 75: West Indies special

WCM 75
by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

In the new Wisden Cricket Monthly, out on February 22, we celebrate West Indies’ stunning win at the Gabba – their first Test victory in Australia for 27 years – with a special issue on cricket in the Caribbean, past and present.


Daniel Gallan kicks things off by examining the state of play in the region, speaking to Windies CEO Johnny Grave, Ian Bishop and Test skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, before Santokie Nagulendran of the Caribbean Cricket Podcast delves into the love and loss of supporting his team and Vaneisa Baksh draws parallels between two Brisbane epics, 64 years apart.

In the first of a new series, Rob Smyth, with the help of CricViz’s unrivalled archive, investigates which batters fared best (and worst) against the Windies quicks of their golden age, Jo Harman speaks to Michael Holding about how that formidable battery operated, and we revisit the West Indies’ 1950 tour of England and the emergence of the Three Ws.

Elsewhere, we reveal the best kit on the market in our 2024 Gear Test, present all the domestic and international fixtures for the forthcoming English season in our beautifully crafted wallchart, and Katya Witney examines how the Women’s Premier League in India can build on the success of its inaugural year.


We have all the usual brilliance from our columnists Lawrence Booth and Andrew Miller, while Ollie Robinson gives the insider’s view from England’s tour of India and Phil Walker considers Ben Stokes’ legacy as he plays his 100th Test match.

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10 standout quotes from the new issue:

‘I’m seeing people back in the Caribbean who are solutions-oriented, rather than romantically looking back and hoping to rekindle whatever it is that’s passed. We need to give these guys a chance to create their own identity. This whole romantic thing about where West Indies was in the Eighties and the Nineties? That was then
Ian Bishop kicks off our West Indies special issue


‘We’ve been begging for more matches. More Shamar Josephs would come out. Everyone can see them and draw inspiration from them. Less is less’
Kraigg Brathwaite on the Windies’ Test match future

‘Stokes’ greatest trick has been to channel himself outwards, bundling his life into a kitbag and letting it spool out on the dressing-room floor. His genius as a leader is to be at once otherworldly and rooted in the soil’
Phil Walker on Ben Stokes’ 100 Tests


‘As Orwell recognised, the image of white figures on a time-honoured backcloth could inspire diametrically opposed feelings. He admired the village game’s “socially binding” qualities… But he was suspicious of the almost “religious” reverence sometimes accorded the native green, and there remains a strain of English writing which buries the nuances of cricket (and the cricket of the North) under the sepia of perpetual retrospect’
David Woodhouse, author of the multi-award-winning book, Who Only Cricket Know, on the presence of cricket in English literature

‘In the nets, I would look to groove my repeatable basics. A balanced base, good footwork, trying to pick length and getting forward and back. When it comes to your defence, my mantra is to play tight and late. That will you give the best chance against the moving ball in early-season conditions’
Mark Ramprakash, WCM coach, on grooving up for the new season


‘Everyone within the Lancashire League we’ve engaged with up to this point has been wholly supportive. A member of the league executive met with us as a point of contact to iron out any issues. There are wins happening already that are making people think about how they can welcome women into cricket’
Iain Collier, coach at Ramsbottom CC, on the club entering a women’s team into men’s league cricket

Gear Test

‘The victory unleashed a wave of celebrations throughout the Caribbean. Barbados and Jamaica declared public holidays. At Lord’s, spectators completed a spontaneous victory lap. There is a celebrated photograph of a band of them, joyfully sauntering along to the strumming of a guitar by the calypsonian known as Lord Kitchener’
Vaneisa Baksh on the West Indies’ maiden Test match win in England, at Lord’s in 1950

Mining for Gold

‘It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at in your love affair with this game. Cricket people love cricket bats’
Introducing WCM’s annual gear showcase, where we road-test the best new bats on the market

‘Atherton slipped as he turned and was left on all fours, lunging hopelessly, excruciatingly for safety, as Merv Hughes delivered a missile from the boundary and Ian Healy gleefully whipped off the bails’
Cricket’s cruellest, most notorious 99s

‘I’d got runs at every level to that point and I’d just scored a century against Courtney Walsh in a tour match, so I went out to bat on my debut with a schoolboy innocence. I thought, ‘F**k it, I’ll just go and score runs again’. How ignorant can you be?!’
Ken Rutherford, who averaged 1.71 against West Indies in his debut series in 1985, is interviewed by Rob Smyth for our new data-inspired series, Mining For Gold

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