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
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.”
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.
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.