The man who gave cricket its 'bible', John Wisden's birthday is being celebrated by Google on Thursday. A celebrated English cricketer in the mid-1880s Wisden wrote the Wisden Cricketer's Almanack.
Google has celebrated his birth with a doodle of Victorian gentlemen playing a match.
Born on September 5, 1826 in Brighton, Sussex, Wisden was called the 'Little Wonder' for his 5 feet 6 inches frame. He registered 4140 runs in 186 first-class matches and took 1109 wickets. However, launching the Wisden Almanack in 1864 was his biggest achievement so far.
In first-class matches, he averaged 14.12 - there were two centuries and nine half-centuries in there - but his real ability was with ball in hand. He picked up 1109 first-class wickets at an average of 6.66. His best bowling figures of 10 for 58 were all the more special because all ten dismissals were clean bowled.
While his playing career was still in full swing Wisden started a 'cricket and cigar' shop near Leicester Square in Central London.
More than his cricketing abilities, Wisden is remembered today for the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. An entrepreneur of promise, who set up a fairly prominent sports goods brand after his retirement from first-class cricket in 1863, Wisden published the first edition of the Almanack, a 112-page 'book', in 1864. The yellow book recorded scores of matches from the English cricket circuit and, to bulk up the volume, also included pieces about the big news headlines of the year gone by.
Since then, a fresh volume has been published every single year, with the edition published in 2013 being the 150th one.
The first edition of the Wisden India Almanack was launched in 2012 with Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli on the cover. The Wisden India Almanack Cricketers of the Year for 2011 were Dravid, Kohli, Umesh Yadav, Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) and Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh).
Wisden died on April 5, 1884 in Westminster, London.