Test cricket’s second-oldest trophy will be up for grabs once more from Wednesday, when England and West Indies begin a new contest for the Wisden Trophy – now in its 56th year.
John Wisden & Co donated the Wisden Trophy to MCC and the West Indies Cricket Board in 1963 to mark the 100th edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. That summer, Frank Worrell guided his team to victory over an England side led by Ted Dexter. England wrested it back in 1968 but when Rohan Kanhai’s side won in 1973 a long period of West Indian domination began.
It wasn’t until September 2000, after 13 unsuccessful series, that England – under Nasser Hussain – ended a painful run. The scenes of jubilation that late summer afternoon at The Oval were capped by the sight of Hussain brandishing the Wisden Trophy on the dressing-room balcony.
Since then, England have won six further series, and drawn one – four years ago, when it was last played in the Caribbean. West Indies’ one success came at home in early 2009, when England’s calamitous second-innings 51 in Jamaica allowed the home team to complete an innings victory on their way to a 1–0 series win.
Once the Trophy is relinquished, it has proved a tricky job to reclaim: in all its 56 years, the Wisden Trophy has changed hands only five times.
Michael Vaughan is the most successful English captain, with three series wins. Only Clive Lloyd, who led West Indies to four, has a better record.
The three-Test series starts in Barbados, moves on to Antigua (January 31–February 4), and concludes in St Lucia (February 9–13). The trophy will be presented to the winners at the end of the third Test in St Lucia.