Wisden India has annouced its foray into the world of Indian cricket lovers with the launch of several properties. Saurav Ganguly has been roped in as the president of editorial board and the team will comprise of names from the cricket world, including Dileep Premachandran (editor-in-chief), Suresh Menon (almanack editor), and Joy Bhattacharya (media director), apart from a vast pool of experts, which is expected to include veteran Indian players and journalists.
On his role at Wisden India, Sourav Ganguly said, "It’s indeed an honour and pleasure to be associated with FidelisWorld, Wisden India, that too as the [resident of its editorial board. Along with an excellent editorial team and the support of FidelisWorld management, I look forward to making it real big. We will honestly try to give everyone the real picture and an absolute new vision about enjoying cricket from the side-lines. Cricket lovers over the years have regarded Wisden to be a Bible of Cricket and our new venture will not be any less to live up to. We promise to give you the best insight to the world of cricket.”
Anand Krishnan, executive chairman, FidelisWorld, the sports and entertainment management firm that has brought the title to India, said, "This is a proud moment in the young history of FidelisWorld, to bring the authority of cricket to the most passionate fans of the sport. Wisden India will, no doubt, evolve to become the single source for news, views, and entertainment in the field of cricket.”
Wisden India has partnered with media partners across channels, in print, digital, television, radio and the Web. Wisden India hopes to build its product presence in the market through an integrated approach with properties across web, television, games, apps and other digital outreach programs.
Wisden intends to bring its brand portfolio which includes titles like Hall of Fame, Cricket Museum, Wisden Cricketer Dinner and Awards to India. It will also look to organise national competitions and charity events. The publication will also release a special, 'Wisden India Cricketers’ Almanack' – which will be a ‘Blue Edition’ on the lines of the Indian Cricket team colours.
When questioned about the differentiating aspect of Wisden's digital offering with respect to the existing properties, Wisden's Premchandran, said, "Across leading web portals, the focus is always on the current international game. We will focus on all forms of the game like test matches, one-day internationals, Indian Premier League (IPL) and even domestic cricket. Also, our portal would give every user the flexibility to see a customised Wisden portal with news arranged according to his preferences."
Talking about Wisden's foray into television and other mediums, Krishnan explained, "The plan is to eventually launch a dedicated channel. However, we would take baby-steps before entering the platform. Our focus at the moment is to release the portal. This will be followed by several other properties such as the Almanack or the Blue Book, which we expect to roll out next year. We would also launch a coffee-table book and the Wisden India Awards by March 2012."
Krishnan also noted that earlier this year, Fidelis signed a long-term licensing agreement with Bloomsbury Publishing to form Wisden India. He added, "The deal also covers Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, and North America. FidelisWorld aims to make Wisden India the collective voice for cricket by leveraging Wisden’s nearly 150-year-old reputation of objectivity, independence, and credibility and infusing it with today’s latest technology to deliver excellent content to the Indian cricket lover."