Aiming to cater to the ever-growing Indian market, Cricket bible Wisden is set to launch a separate edition in India next year, focussing on all areas of the game from Tests to domestic cricket.
Cricket in India has grown by leaps and bounds with the one billion-plus population lapping up new formats like the Indian Premier League, and the new edition will aim to become the independent voice of cricket in the sub-continent.
"The chance to marry Wisden''s age-old strengths with the 21st century home of the game was too good to ignore," said Wisden editor Lawrence Booth. The first edition will be launched in October 2012 with a vast pool of writers, including some of the great Indian players and respected journalists, contributing to the issue.
Founded in 1864, Wisden has been published every year since and is recognised around the world as the definitive record of the game. Bloomsbury, best known as the publisher of the Harry Potter books, sells about 40,000 editions of Wisden each year, but the potential in the Indian sub-continent is 50 times more, said director Richard Charkin.
Charkin also sees huge scope in the mobile phone and internet market, where it will provide commentary and opinions online. A new Wisden India Hall of Fame is to be set up to recognise the greats of the game.
Bloomsbury has signed a long-term licensing agreement with sports marketing group FidelisWorld for Wisden India, with the deal also covering Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and North America, which has a large Indian ex-pat market.