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MCC and BBC announce awards in CMJ memory

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MCC and the BBC have announced the creation of two 'spirit of cricket' awards in memory of Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the former MCC president and BBC Test Match Special commentator.

The Christopher Martin-Jenkins spirit of cricket awards, in association with MCC and BBC, will include an elite award and a youth award, with both intended to support the grassroots game in England and Wales.

The elite award will be presented to a professional cricketer who has made the biggest contribution to the spirit of cricket in the 2013 English cricket season - with overseas players being eligible. The elite award winner, together with a joint MCC and BBC judging panel, will choose the beneficiary of a £2,000 prize to support a cricket programme at a primary or secondary school.

The youth award will recognise an under-16 junior cricketer or team in England and Wales who have best demonstrated the spirit of cricket in action. The youth award winner, alongside their team or class, will be invited to attend the Yorkshire Bank 40 final at Lord's by MCC, with the BBC TMS commentators interviewing the winners on the day.

Application forms and nominations for the elite and youth awards will be made available later this summer on the Lord's and BBC websites. Winners will be judged by a joint MCC and BBC panel.

Mike Griffith, MCC president and lifelong friend of Martin-Jenkins, said: "Cricket lost one of its greatest friends with CMJ's passing, and I don't think there was anybody in the game who did as much to promote the spirit of cricket as him.

“It is absolutely fitting therefore that MCC and the BBC have joined together to create these awards in his memory. We very much hope to be inundated with nominations later in the summer."

BBC head of radio sport Richard Burgess said: "CMJ was a much loved figure in the BBC and so it was befitting for us to create these awards with MCC to continue his love for the game.

“Cricket commentary on TMS is at the core of the BBC's radio sport output and this is an opportunity for us to support the game at grassroots level, in memory of such a great commentator and ambassador of the game."

BBC cricket correspondent and Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew added: "Christopher was absolutely passionate about the spirit of cricket and for the need for the game to be played not merely within the laws, but also within the spirit of the laws.

“Not a day will pass without us missing him in the commentary box and these awards will be a constant reminder of his great contribution to the game and also the standards that we strive to preserve."