Cricket enthusiasts in India stand to gain from the rising digital publishing trend in the country. Bloomsbury Publishing has tied up with Wisden, Wisden India and the Public Library Online to come out with an all-India digital initiative that gives any Indian IP address holder free access to a library of cricket books.
The library comprises the popular sports reference book, considered the “bible of cricket”, including all four Wisden India Almanacks, the Wisden Book of Test Cricket 2009-2014, Wisden on the Ashes, Benaud in Wisden and Don’ts for Cricketers.
The online library was launched on August 18, the first day of the fourth Test of the ongoing India-West Indies series, and is available for online streaming on any Internet-enabled device at the Public Library Online (in.publiclibraryonline.com). “This initiative, sponsored by Bloomsbury, combines four obsessions — public access to books, digital delivery, cricket, and India. This is great news for cricket and great news for the people of India,” says Richard Charkin, executive director, Bloomsbury, and chairman, John Wisden & Co.
Wisdens are immensely popular as collectibles as well; rare copies of its early editions are usually exorbitantly priced. “The Wisden archives are an unparalleled resource, for curious readers and cricket buffs alike. For well over a century, Wisden has been one of cricket’s conscience-keepers and the Almanack’s essays have chronicled the sweeping, almost cataclysmic, changes the game has seen. Public Library Online has now taken an important first step in opening up this treasure trove to readers, in a country where cricket is so much more than just a game,” says Dileep Premachandran, editor-in-chief, Wisden India.