Wisden to launch Indian edition

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The owner of cricket bible Wisden is to launch a separate Indian edition as it looks to tap into demand from fans in the sport's fastest-growing market.





Wisden India will focus on all areas of the Indian game from Test matches through to domestic cricket and has set itself the aim of becoming the independent voice of cricket in the sub-continent.



Cricket in India is booming as the one billion-plus population has lapped up new formats of the game, such as the 20-over Indian Premier League, with successful players given superstar status.



The pool of writers is expected to include some of the great Indian players as well as respected journalists. The first edition will launch in October 2012.



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 that, said director Richard Charkin.



While Mr Charkin admits the Indian edition will not sell for the £45 price of the traditional almanack, the volumes are potentially vast.



As well as the book, he 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.



"The chance to marry Wisden's age-old strengths with the 21st century home of the game was too good to ignore," added Wisden editor Lawrence Booth.

PA

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