It is Test cricket’s second-oldest trophy and will be up for grabs once more this Thursday, when England and West Indies meet at Edgbaston to contest this trophy, now in its 54th year.
John Wisden & Co donated it to MCC and the West Indies Cricket Board in 1963 to mark the 100th edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, and Frank Worrell guided his team to victory over Ted Dexter’s England that summer. England briefly 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 flow of Caribbean fast bowlers had dried to a trickle, and 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 five further series, and drawn one – in the Caribbean two years ago. 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.
West Indies last won a Test in England at Edgbaston in June 2000 – and they have not won a series in this country since Viv Richards led his side to a 4–0 victory in 1988.
Once the Trophy is relinquished, it has proved a tricky job to reclaim it: in all its 54 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 series victories, has a better record.
The Wisden Trophy will be presented to either Joe Root or Jason Holder at the end of the Lord’s Test in September and will then return to the Museum, where it is on permanent display beside the Ashes.