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Wisden celebrates Victorian style Published: 07 June 2013

Wisden celebrates Victorian style

To mark the 150th edition of Wisden, Lords.org went along to watch the Authors CC play a Wisden XI in a Victorian cricket match.

The two-overs a side match, in which the teams played in full Victorian costume, was part of the continued celebration of this year's landmark edition of the Wisden Cricketer's Almanack.

That's how the Victorians did it



The Authors CC had Birdsong author Sebastian Faulks in their side, former cricketer and writer Ed Smith, while the match was umpired by former politician Lord Jeffrey Archer.

Wisden editor Lawrence Booth captained his eleven that featured The Cricketer Magazine's Andrew Miller and Daily Mirror writer Dean Wilson.

"The first Wisden was back in 1864," Booth told Lord's TV.

"It was a lot more gentile in those days. You bowled underarm and generally there were only two stumps. You had to run everything so there were no fours or sixes."

1864 was the year that overarm bowling became legal so the match was played under 1863 rules or earlier.

Former England cricketer and MCC Women's Cricket sub-committee chairman Claire Taylor, who was playing for Wisden, said: "Of course you're not allowed to bowl overarm…so I got some filthy leg spin underarm out!"

The MCC Museum's latest exhibition, sponsored by J.P. Morgan, Cricket's Crown Jewels, displays all 150 original editions of Wisden, including the broadcaster E.W. Swanton's 1939 edition that he had during his time at a prisoner of war camp in the Second World War.


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