Bloomsbury Publishing has launched a digital initiative in India to support the country's "love of and obsession with" cricket.
The scheme will see all citizens with an Indian IP address be given free access to a library of cricket books for a year at Public Library Online from cricket publisher Wisden.
The library includes all four Wisden India Almanacks, the last five Wisden Shorter Almanacks, the Wisden Book of Test Cricket 2009-14, Wisden on the Ashes, Benaud in Wisden and Don'ts for Cricketers. These are available for online streaming on any internet-enabled device at Public Library Online through the url in.publiclibraryonline.com. The initiative is being launched to coincide with the fourth test match of the India-West Indies series which began on the 18th of August 2016.
The offer has been created by a partnership between Bloomsbury Publishing, Wisden, Wisden India, and Public Library Online.
Richard Charkin, executive director Bloomsbury and chairman of John Wisden & Co, said: “This initiative combines four obsessions - public access to books, digital delivery, cricket, and India. This is great news for cricket and great news for the people of India.”
Jahir Hussain, c.e.o. of Public Library Online, said: “We are excited to offer public library online e-books to the entire Indian public. We feel proud to be part of the ‘Digital India’ chapters.”
Dileep Premachandran, editor-in-chief of Wisden India, added: “The Wisden archives are an unparalleled resource, for curious readers and cricket buffs alike. For well over a century, Wisden has been one of cricket’s conscience-keepers and the Almanack’s essays have chronicled the sweeping, almost cataclysmic, changes the game has seen. Public Library Online has now taken an important first step in opening up this treasure trove to readers, in a country where cricket is so much more than just a game.”