Sport

Respected cricket journalist Martin-Jenkins dies

Wednesday, January 02, 2013    

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LONDON, England (AFP) — Respected English cricket journalist and commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins has died of cancer at the age of 67, his former colleagues announced yesterday.

Popularly known as 'CMJ' in Great Britain, Martin-Jenkins was one of the voices of Test Match Special on BBC Radio and previously worked for the Daily Telegraph and the Times.

"Desperately sad to tell you that CMJ died peacefully this morning," his friend and colleague Jonathan Agnew said on Twitter.

Martin-Jenkins also served as the president of Marylebone Cricket Club in 2010 and 2011.

The official Twitter account of Lord's, the home of English cricket, wrote: "Former MCC president Christopher Martin-Jenkins has died. Sad, sad news to start the new year."

Martin-Jenkins' son, Robin, played professional cricket for Sussex and made 162 first-class appearances for the country before retiring in 2010.

Martin-Jenkins was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January 2012 and released his memoir, entitled CMJ: A Cricketing Life, the following April.

Former England all-rounder and current broadcaster Ian Botham tweeted: "Very sad to hear of the death of the 'Major'... Christopher Martin-Jenkins. Our thoughts are with the family. A true Gentleman!!"

Agnew, a long-term collaborator with Martin-Jenkins at the BBC, praised his colleague for having earned the respect of the cricketing world despite having never played at the top level.

"He was one of cricket's most respected writers and broadcasters," Agnew told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"With modern media now preferring the views and experiences of former Test cricketers, Christopher's authority and respect was gained not through a high-profile playing career, but a deep-rooted love of the game.

"It's doubtful if anyone has contributed more in a lifetime to the overall coverage of cricket than Christopher Martin-Jenkins."

Current MCC president Mike Griffith said: "CMJ will be sorely missed.

"Everyone at MCC shares the sadness now being felt by the cricketing world that his live commentaries will never be heard again."

Giles Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said cricket had lost "one of its greatest champions".

"Christopher was a supremely talented broadcaster and writer; a fount of knowledge about cricket — both past and present; and, as a devoted supporter of Sussex, someone who cared deeply about County cricket and the wider recreational game," he said.

David Richardson, chief executive of world governing body the International Cricket Council, also added his voice to the tributes.

"There are few men in cricket who are known simply by the initials and the fact that Christopher was referred to simply as CMJ around the cricket world reflects his standing in the game," he said in a statement.

"Cricket has lost two of its most revered commentators in the last few days with the passing of both CMJ and, last week, of Tony Greig.

"I know that press boxes around the world will be deeply saddened by the death of two giants of the game and we pass on our condolence to both their families."

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