Cricket world mourns the loss of two of its most respected broadcasters

It would be remiss of us, in our position as (albeit very amateur) cricket writers, to ignore a difficult week for those who pursue cricket journalism as their occupation. We learned today of the death of Christopher Martin-Jenkins, one of the great modern radio commentators and a highly respected print journalist and authority on the game. This followed all too soon after the death of former England captain Tony Greig last Saturday.

Greig has rightly been praised in all parts for his pioneering attitude in the late 1970s and for being an integral part of shaping the modern game of cricket. There are those who still regard his actions then with disdain; we here do not count ourselves among them. He was, amidst everything, a very fine Test cricketer as well. In addition, he was a successful commentator. We have written in the past on this blog about his commentary style, which we freely admit was not to our taste, but that did not make him any less popular with fans of his adopted home nation of Australia. Like so many, Greig died too young at only 66. Similarly, Martin-Jenkins was only 67.

As English cricket fans, CMJ was an ever-present part of our upbringing. We’ve written before about the comforting blanket of listening to TMS in the early hours as, somewhere around the world, England took on a foreign foe and CMJ was central to that experience. The prevailing sentiment that has come out following his death is that it was a testament to his knowledge and love of the game that he became such a successful journalist despite having not played at first class level. As pretty hopeless sportsmen ourselves, he has certainly been influential in developing our love of writing about the game.

Both men will be sadly missed; following on from the premature death of Peter Roebuck in late 2011, the world of cricket journalism and broadcasting has lost some of its foremost exponents in little over a year. A sad start to 2013.

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