Regulatory announcements

Bloomsbury launches Wisden into India

09 October 2011

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is pleased to announce it has signed a long term licensing deal with leading sports and entertainment management firm FidelisWorld FZ LLC for the rights to Wisden India. Rights will also extend to the regions of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Middle East and North America.

A central foundation of Wisden India will be an annual book aimed squarely at the burgeoning Indian market. It will focus on all areas of the Indian game - including Test matches, One Day Internationals, the IPL and domestic cricket - while sharing the same qualities as Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. A new pool of writers is expected to include some great Indian players as well as respected journalists. Some of the most distinguished names in cricket from Sir Neville Cardus and Sir Donald Bradman to Richie Benaud and Mike Atherton have contributed to past editions of Wisden. 

India represents the fastest growing, most vibrant market in world cricket, home to the single largest audience of fans. Whereas Wisden commands widespread recognition and respect in India, currently it has very little product presence there. The local market for information on cricket in India is highly fragmented. Various websites, TV channels and print publications exist, but Wisden India plans to build upon Wisden's worldwide reputation to become the leading voice on Indian cricket using the latest technology. FidelisWorld aims to unify the fragmented sectors into a consolidated whole in the target market, thereby achieving synergies and building value.
Wisden India will be launched in early 2012, and the first edition of the annual Wisden India book will be published in October next year to coincide with the start of the domestic season. Wisden Sri Lanka is also expected to be launched in 2012. 

Wisden India also plans to work with various media partners to deliver year-round content on a range of platforms, providing a barometer of the game as well as a truly independent record of Indian cricket. In addition, a Wisden India Hall of Fame will be introduced together with events at which new inductees into the Wisden India Hall of Fame will be announced.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack has been published every year since 1864 and its independence, authority and accuracy over nearly 150 years has made it recognised throughout the cricket world as the definitive recorder of the game.

The team behind Wisden India will include Richard Charkin and Charlotte Atyeo of Bloomsbury together with the existing Wisden editorial and management people in the UK and senior sports marketers Navneet Sharma, CEO and Sanjay Khuller, VP Cricket of FidelisWorld. Bloomsbury will be responsible for recruiting the editorial team and has already hired sports consultants Terry Blake (the former Marketing Director of the ECB) and Alex Chamberlen (previously Head of Global Sales for Cricinfo) to advise on the venture.

Richard Charkin, Executive Director of Bloomsbury, said:

"I believe that excellence is the result of always striving to do better. Wisden India will deliver excellence in its reporting of cricket in the sub-continent and will be the independent voice of the next generation of Indian cricket fans."

Anand Krishnan, Executive Chairman of FidelisWorld, said:

"FidelisWorld is honored to be associated with Bloomsbury, and proud in every manner to launch Wisden into India to bring 150 years of cricketing history and tradition to the most passionate cricket fans of the world. With a clear plan and perspective Wisden will become the single true voice and the Home of Indian Cricket"

Lawrence Booth, Editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, said:

"As a cricket journalist, I know from personal experience that no country offers the sport more variety, depth, colour and conjecture than India. The chance to marry Wisden's age-old strengths with the 21st-century home of the game was simply too good to ignore."


For further enquiries:

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0)20 7631 5682
Richard Charkin, Executive Director, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Pelham Bell Pottinger +44 (0)20 7861 3232
Daniel de Belder / Rosanne Perry
FidelisWorld FZ LLC +971 50 4514688
Navneet Sharma, CEO, FidelisWorld FZ LLC


Notes to Editors

A Brief History of Wisden

1864 Wisden is founded by the famous cricketer John Wisden ('The Little Wonder'), who is still the only man to take 10 wickets in an innings - all bowled - in a first class match (which he did at Lord's in 1850). The first edition contained only 112 pages, padded out with the lengths of canals and the battles of the War of the Roses.

1889 Wisden Cricketers of the Year are named for the first time.

1891 Sydney Parson become editor and establishes Wisden's reputation for authoritative comment through the introduction in:

1901, of the annual Notes by the Editor.

1916 Despite hardly any cricket being played in the world, a new edition is still published each year during the first world war. The 1916 edition contains 396 obituaries.

1938 The almanack is revamped and the familiar yellow cover with the famous woodcut logo is introduced.

1963 To mark the 100th almanack, the Wisden Trophy is first presented for Test series between England and West Indies.

2000 Wisden invited a worldwide panel of 100 experts to name their Five Cricketers of the Century. The winners were Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards and Shane Warne.

2003 A picture cover is introduced for the first time.

2004 A new Wisden honour is introduced - The Leading Cricketer in the World. Ricky Ponting is the first recipient. Unlike the Cricketers of the Year, players can be chosen for this accolade more than once.

2006 The first edition to achieve sales of over 50,000 copies.

2007 A full set of original editions is sold at auction for a record price of £120,000

2008 Wisden is acquired by Bloomsbury

2009 Claire Taylor is announced as the first ever woman to be a Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

2011 Wisden breaks with tradition by naming only four Cricketers of the Year. The selection of the fifth is deemed unsuitable after an independent tribunal appointed by the ICC banned him for corruption.

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc- Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house with companies in London, New York, Berlin and Sydney. Its founder and Chief Executive is Nigel Newton. Its four divisions are:

Bloomsbury Academic & Professional Publishing - Bloomsbury Academic & Professional specialises in the humanities, social sciences, law and tax. In 2011 and 2012, it will be publishing online the digitized edition of the Winston Churchill Archive, as well as new digital services in Irish Law and Tax, UK Tax and Drama Online (with Faber). The division includes Continuum, Berg Publishers, Methuen Drama, Arden Shakespeare, Bristol Classical Press and Bloomsbury Professional.

Bloomsbury Information - includes a number of information databases for electronic as well as print publications. Publications include The Encarta World English Dictionary, The English Language Teaching Database, The Macmillan English Dictionary, Business: The Ultimate Resource, and others. Bloomsbury also provides management services for Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, a division of the Qatar Foundation.

Bloomsbury Adult Publishing - a substantial list of successful authors including Khaled Hosseini, William Boyd, Margaret Atwood, Donna Tartt, Elizabeth Gilbert, Richard Ford, David Guterson, John Irving, Jay McInerney, Ben Schott, Anthony Bourdain, William Dalrymple, Ben Macintyre, Dava Sobel, Mark Kurlansky, Chelsea Handler, Heston Blumenthal, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and recent Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson. The trade division also features significant reference projects including Wisden, Who's Who, Reed's Nautical and Whitaker's.

Bloomsbury Children's Publishing - a highly successful list including authors such as J.K.Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Debi Gliori, Alyxandra Harvey, Carrie Jones, Shannon Hale, Louis Sachar and Benjamin Zephaniah.



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