Mike Griffith, President of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), has paid tribute to Christopher Martin-Jenkins, President of the Club in 2010-11, the cricket writer and broadcaster, who has died after a courageous battle against cancer.
“CMJ will be sorely missed. I was fortunate to know him from his schooldays at Marlborough College and we became good friends. Christopher gave tremendous service to cricket and to MCC, where he was President as recently as 2010. As a commentator and journalist he was passionate about upholding the values of the game and always expressed his views with clarity and humour. Everyone at MCC shares the sadness now being felt by the cricketing world that his live commentaries will never be heard again. On behalf of all Members of the Club I have sent our deepest condolences to Christopher’s widow Judy and their children Robin, James and Lucy.”
Christopher Martin-Jenkins enjoyed a long and warm relationship with MCC. He first played at Lord’s in 1962 – hitting a half-century for Marlborough College against Rugby School and a year later scored 99 in the annual fixture. He became an MCC Member in 1967 and went on to play 67 times for the Club before serving on several committees, including that which organised the celebratory events marking the Bicentenary of MCC in 1987.
In 2007 Christopher Martin-Jenkins became the first, and thus far only, career journalist and broadcaster to deliver the annual MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture – previous lecturers had all been former international cricketers. In 2009 he was elected to the MCC Committee and appointed to the Arts & Library committee, and then, in 2010 he was nominated by John Barclay to succeed him as President of the Club. At the time Barclay described Christopher as “the voice of cricket”, saying “when CMJ appears on the radio, he makes you feel that all is right with the world”.
Christopher Martin-Jenkins started commentating for BBC Test Match Special in 1973. As a cricket correspondent, he was mentored in his early career by EW Swanton, with whom he worked as assistant editor at The Cricketer, and was appointed editor of the magazine in 1980. From 1983 to 1990 Christopher combined his editorship with his BBC role, and then joined the Daily Telegraph as cricket correspondent. He switched to The Times before the 1999 season, serving as Chief Cricket Correspondent until 2008. He had remained a regular commentator on Test Match Special and a frequent contributor to The Times and The Wisden Cricketer.
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