In the latest issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly – out August 20 – Lawrence Booth considers whether Joe Root can go on to become an all-time world great, rather than merely an all-time England great, while shouldering the responsibility of captaincy.

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The Wisden Almanack editor speaks to Nasser Hussain, David Gower and David Lloyd as he assesses the recent record of “arguably England’s best Test batsman for more than half a century”, his status within the fabled ‘Fab Four’ and the impact leadership can have on run-scoring.

Elsewhere, we mark Pakistan’s tour of England with John Stern’s article on their formidable pace factory and how it continues to churn out exceptional talent, while Phil Walker takes us back to the combustible series of 1992, when Wasim and Waqar wreaked havoc and slanging matches ended up in the High Court.

Our series on cricket’s diversity problem continues with Taha Hashim’s investigation into South Asian participation in Yorkshire, while James Wallace explores the role and reputation of the much-maligned ‘stonewaller’ following Dom Sibley’s opinion-dividing contributions at the top of England’s batting order.

We also have exclusive interviews with Isa Guha, Mike Brearley and Bryan Henderson, the man in charge of calling the shots at Sky Cricket, plus opinion from our columnists Andrew Miller, Elizabeth Ammon and Zafar Ansari. And we look forward to the belated arrival of the Vitality Blast – now more important to county cricket than ever – with a full preview of all 18 counties.

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10 standout quotes from the new issue:

“Conventional wisdom has it that England captains – almost always batsmen – begin their reign with a zest that fuels their run-making. Then the cares of office kick in, and they drift back towards the pack. Root has done nothing to contradict the theory.”
Lawrence Booth on the conundrum facing Joe Root

“Wherever the magic came from, it was very effective.”
David Gower recalls the otherworldly skills of Wasim and Wqar, as Phil Walker looks back on England’s unforgettable series against Pakistan in 1992

“Pace is something only God can give you – that is what we believe.”
Mudassar Nazar, former Pakistan Test cricketer and later national academy coach, speaks to John Stern about his country’s enduring love affair with fast bowling

“I did feel the pressure. A couple of times I felt it so strongly that I didn’t really want to go out on the field. I didn’t feel energetic and enthusiastic to motivate the side, I preferred to be hiding somewhere.”
Mike Brearley speaks to Jo Harman about his distinguished career

“There are way more polished people out there than me, but I just try to be as true to myself as possible. It’s like being a player. You work on every aspect of your game until you become undroppable.”
Isa Guha, the new lead presenter of the BBC’s cricket coverage, on her rise in broadcasting

“England’s only option, surely, is to break their bubble, and speculate to accumulate, by giving back to those teams on whom their economy still relies.”
Columnist Andrew Miller argues England must play their part in keeping Test cricket financially solvent by visiting parts of the world which need their support

“I think the Blast is undervalued in public opinion. Other tournaments do a better job of promoting and creating an image around the competition. The Big Bash do that fantastically well, but I wouldn’t say the Big Bash has a better standard of cricket than the Blast. With the way the IPL is set up, I think that’s the hardest competition and the best quality. But the Blast isn’t far behind and the quality wouldn’t be any less than the other competitions I’ve played in.”
Kent captain Sam Billings shares his thoughts on the Vitality Blast as part of our tournament preview

“Richard Blakey, our keeper, called me ‘Tango’, after those adverts with the big, crazy, orange man running around. I was very fiery – it was my way of getting rid of the negative thoughts and demons in my head. But in that first year they wanted me to go a bit further than I would’ve liked. It was starting to become a bit unnatural.”
Flame-haired tearaway Steve Kirby recalls the extraordinary tale of his first year at Yorkshire, in ‘My Year’

“There’s something about the stonewaller that makes them a target for misgivings; their ‘over my dead body’ attitude and sheer bloody-mindedness can inspire admiration and suspicion, often teetering between the two.”
James Wallace on the conflicting reputation of ‘blockers’

“His double-hundred against Lancs in his final season springs most vividly to mind. He won a duel with the great Wasim Akram, hitting 90mph in-swingers into the big scoreboard with a mere in-to-out flick of the wrists. Touched by genius.”
Dave Fulton picks Carl Hooper in Kent’s Greatest XI