Skip to main content

Legendary cricket commentator Martin-Jenkins dies

By Elizabeth Yuan, CNN
updated 11:47 AM EST, Thu March 7, 2013
Cricket journalist Christopher Martin-Jenkins receives the MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in May 2009 in London.
Cricket journalist Christopher Martin-Jenkins receives the MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in May 2009 in London.
  • Martin-Jenkins' death comes three days after passing of cricket great Tony Greig
  • He was cricket correspondent for BBC, Daily Telegraph, The Times and editor of The Cricketer
  • He was president of Marylebone Cricket Club from 2010-2011
  • Martin-Jenkins is being remembered as "the very best" in cricket journalism

(CNN) -- Christopher Martin-Jenkins, whose commentary for BBC Radio's Test Match Special for more than four decades made him one of cricket's most respected journalists, died Tuesday of cancer.

He was 67.

His death on New Year's Day comes three days after the passing of another cricket great: former England captain Tony Greig on Saturday of a heart attack while fighting cancer. In his last piece for The Times -- published one day before his own death -- Martin-Jenkins called the South Africa-born bowler's courage under pressure one of his "greatest attributes." He also called the last stage of any cancer "hell on earth."

Read about the passing of cricket 'revolutionary' Greig

With Martin-Jenkins' own death, "cricket has lost one of its greatest champions," said England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman Giles Clarke in a statement Tuesday.

"Christopher -- or CMJ -- as he was universally known was quite simply a cricketing institution," ECB chief executive David Collier added.

Martin-Jenkins was cricket correspondent for the BBC from 1973-1991, with a break between 1981 and 1984. In 1981 he began a decade as editor at The Cricketer magazine. He then became cricket correspondent for the Daily Telegraph from 1991-1999 and for The Times from 1999-2008.

Cricket has lost one of its greatest champions
Giles Clarke, ECB chairman

In 2007 Martin-Jenkins became in 2007 the first -- and so far only -- career journalist to deliver the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture. The distinction had always been reserved for cricketers.

Three years later he became president of the cricket club, a post he held until 2011, another rare honor.

Martin-Jenkins' services to sport were cited when he was awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2009.

Among remembrances, Scyld Berry of The Telegraph called Martin-Jenkins' knowledge of cricket "encyclopedic," and Mike Selvey of The Guardian wrote that the initials "CMJ" were "synonymous with the very best in cricket journalism, both spoken and written," and that "the game has lost perhaps the best friend it ever had."

Martin-Jenkins, who was born in Peterborough, England, on January 20, 1945, is the author of several books, including "The Complete Who's Who of Test Cricketers."

He is survived by his wife of more than 40 years, Judy; and their children, James, Lucy and Robin, a former cricketer for Sussex.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:30 PM EST, Sun January 5, 2014
Click through our gallery to remember those we lost this year.
updated 7:55 PM EST, Wed January 1, 2014
Actor James Avery, who played the beloved Uncle Phil on the hit 1990s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," has died. He was 67.
updated 2:59 PM EST, Wed January 1, 2014
Dr. John W.V. Cordice, the surgeon who operated on Dr. Martin Luther King after he was stabbed in Harlem in 1958, died in Iowa. Cordice was 95.
updated 8:28 PM EST, Wed January 1, 2014
Joseph Ruskin died of natural causes in a Santa Monica, California, hospital. He was 89.
updated 4:19 PM EST, Wed January 1, 2014
Jeffrey Ian Pollack, who directed the popular 1990s films "Booty Call" and "Above the Rim" and produced "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" has died. He was 54.
updated 6:00 PM EST, Mon December 23, 2013
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian gun designer whose AK-47 rifle became the weapon of choice for many national armies and guerrillas around the world, died.
updated 6:53 AM EST, Sun December 22, 2013
Ned Vizzini, who shot to fame at a young age for his teenage novels focusing on youth depression and anxieties, committed suicide at age 32.
updated 4:37 PM EST, Thu December 19, 2013
Al Goldstein, the foul-mouthed publisher of Screw magazine and pornography pioneer died in New York. He was 77.
updated 3:53 PM EST, Tue December 31, 2013
Actor Daniel Escobar, who played a teacher in "Lizzie McGuire," died from complications of diabetes in Los Angeles. He was 49.
updated 7:41 PM EST, Wed December 18, 2013
"Great Train Robber" Ronnie Biggs -- one of the most notorious British criminals of the 20th century -- has died, his publisher told CNN. He was 84.
updated 8:17 PM EST, Mon December 16, 2013
Ray Price, the Nashville star whose trademark "shuffle" beat became a country music staple, has died at age 87, his agent said.
updated 9:23 PM EST, Mon December 16, 2013
Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine died, her longtime friend Noel Beutel said. She was 96.
updated 7:40 AM EST, Mon December 16, 2013
Actor Peter O'Toole died peacefully in a hospital at 81 years old.
updated 7:38 AM EST, Mon December 16, 2013
Tom Laughlin, the actor who wrote and starred in the "Billy Jack" films of the 1970s, died at age 82.
updated 7:56 PM EST, Wed December 11, 2013
Jazz guitarist Jim Hall, who played with the jazz greats of the 20th century and influenced the younger ones, has died, his family said. He was 83.
updated 8:46 AM EST, Tue December 10, 2013
Actress Eleanor Parker, nominated for three Oscars and known for her "Sound of Music" role, died Monday at 91, her family said.
updated 11:40 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
Freedom fighter, statesman, moral compass and South Africa's symbol of the struggle against racial oppression.
updated 9:18 PM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
Bill Beckwith, who co-hosted HGTV home-improvement show "Curb Appeal," has died. He was 38.
updated 9:58 AM EST, Mon December 2, 2013
Actor Paul Walker, who shot to fame as star of the high-octane street racing franchise "Fast & Furious," died in a car crash in Southern California. He was 40.
updated 5:39 PM EST, Sat November 30, 2013
Paul F. Crouch, co-founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, died at age 79.
updated 6:42 PM EST, Fri November 29, 2013
Jane Kean, who played diverse roles during a long career but was best known as Trixie on the TV revival of "The Honeymooners," has died. She was 90.
updated 7:44 AM EST, Mon November 25, 2013
Singer Wayne Mills, whose "outlaw country" songs center on honky-tonk life, died in a Nashville bar shooting.