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Test Match Special commentator CHRISTOPHER MARTIN-JENKINS "has died of cancer at the age of 67," according to the BBC. Martin-Jenkins joined the BBC in '70 and commentated on his first match, a one-day int'l, in '72. In '73, he succeeded BRIAN JOHNSTON as the BBC's cricket correspondent, a post he held until '91, with a break between '81-84. He was cricket correspondent of the Daily Telegraph from '91-99 and of The Times from '99-08. A family statement said, "Christopher died peacefully at home this morning (Tuesday) after his brave resistance to cancer. The family is extremely proud of all that he did to pass on his love of cricket worldwide with his gift of communicating through the spoken and written word. He was above all a much loved husband, brother, father and grandfather" (BBC, 1/1). A LONDON TIMES obituary noted Martin-Jenkins "came to be known within cricketing circles by his initials," CM-J, like his mentor and first employer, cricket commentator E.W. SWANTON. Martin-Jenkins became "the unofficial successor to Swanton as the guardian of the game’s values." Martin-Jenkins was "intrinsically withdrawn," and "metamorphosed into a fluent speaker and splendid mimic once behind a microphone." Time-keeping, on account of his workload, organization and difficulties with new technology, "was not his strong point." One manuscript for a book was left in a taxi, and, "amid great hilarity among his colleagues," he once mistook a TV remote control for his mobile phone when on tour. He "could not work out why he could not put through a call" (LONDON TIMES, 1/2).
REMEMBRANCES POUR IN: In London, Derek Pringle wrote had "Martin-Jenkins been fictional he would have been one of the great comic inventions, a hybrid of Basil Fawlty and Bertie Wooster." He continued to contribute columns to The Times until as recently as Monday, when he wrote about the death of former England test cricket captain TONY GREIG. BBC Cricket Correspondent JONATHAN AGNEW was among those who gave "universally affectionate" accolades. Agnew: "CMJ was one of cricket’s most respected writers and broadcasters. Considering the years he worked as editor of The Cricketer magazine, and as correspondent for the BBC twice, The Daily Telegraph and The Times, and 40 years commentating on Test Match Special and the many books he wrote, it is doubtful that anyone has contributed more in a lifetime to the overall coverage of cricket." Former England captain IAN BOTHAM tweeted, "Very sad to hear of the death of the 'Major', Christopher Martin-Jenkins. Our thoughts are with the family. A true Gentleman" (TELEGRAPH, 1/1). CNN's Elizabeth Yuan noted England and Wales Cricket Board Chair GILES CLARKE said, "Cricket has lost one of its greatest champions." ECB CEO David Collier added, "Christopher -- or CMJ -- as he was universally known was quite simply a cricketing institution." Among remembrances, SCYLD BERRY of The Telegraph called Martin-Jenkins' knowledge of cricket "encyclopedic," and MIKE SELVEY of The Guardian wrote the initials "CMJ" were "synonymous with the very best in cricket journalism, both spoken and written," and "the game has lost perhaps the best friend it ever had" (CNN, 1/2).
FISHCAKES AND BUTTERCUP PIE: The LONDON TIMES also wrote Martin-Jenkins was "a gentleman of the old school who always made younger or less experienced reporters feel welcome." He was a "gifted and indefatigable writer who never let an editor down, however trying his time zone or onerous his other tasks." He believed cricket should be played "always to win, always fairly, always with a sense of enjoyment," and that is how he lived (LONDON TIMES, 1/2). In Dubai, Peter Baxter noted Martin-Jenkins' radio commentary style "was detailed and meticulous, belying the affectionate reputation he built up on Test Match Special for absent-mindedness and lateness, trademark characteristics that he seemed sometimes to celebrate." Legendary also were his idiosyncratic curses, "Fotheringay Thomas!" or "Fishcakes and buttercup pie!," whenever a minor crisis beset his life (GULF NEWS, 1/1).
Bundesliga club FC Augsburg "has appointed STEFAN REUTER as the team's GM" with immediate effect. The 46-year-old held a similar position from Jan. '06 to Feb. '09 at 2nd Bundesliga club 1860 Munich (SID, 12/27). ... Team Sky has named British Cycling men's team pursuit coach DAN HUNT as its sports director. Hunt "will start his season at the Mallorca Challenge next month" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/2). The USA Cricket Association appointed former Western Australia Cricket Association GM of Business Development DARREN BEAZLEY as its CEO. The appointment concludes an extensive int'l search by a sub-committee comprising GLADSTONE DAINTY, AHMED JEDDY, SUNIL KUMAR of USACA, TIM ANDERSON of the Int'l Cricket Council and ALI KHAN of Management Alternatives (USACA).
COACHES/MANAGERS: Relegated J. League Division 2 club Gamba Osaka has named former J.League Division 1 club Shimizu S-Pulse Manager KENTA HASEGAWA to the same position. Hasegawa has not managed since his previous club lost in the 2010 Emperor's Cup final (KYODO, 1/2). ... Second Bundesliga club Jahn Regensburg "has hired Poland's Euro 2012 coach FRANCISZEK SMUDA." The 64-year-old "will take charge of the team with immediate effect" and try to save the club from relegation to the 3rd League (BILD, 1/2). ... SREČKO KATANEC has been reappointed as Slovenia national team coach, a decade after ending a successful first spell that brought qualification for Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup. The 49-year-old has been in talks with FA of Slovenia President ALEKSANDER ČEFERIN for the past fortnight following the resignation of SLAVIŠA STOJANOVIČ on Dec. 11. Katanec will have just more than a month to prepare for his first test, a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Feb. 6, but FIFA World Cup qualification is the long-term aim (UEFA).
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ManU Manager ALEX FERGUSON "has reacted to stories that this could be his final season" in charge of ManU by insisting he will remain at Old Trafford for "a bit of time." Ferguson, who turned 71 on Monday and celebrated 26 years on the job in November, said, "It’s been a great journey for me but being manager of Manchester United, you have to kick on. You can’t look back. The drive is always on to do better" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/2). ... K-League club Incheon United former President AHN JONG-BOX said that he will "declare his candidacy for the top job of South Korea's FA next week." He "is likely to face off against" K-League President CHUNG MONG-GYU and Korea FA former VP HEO SEUNG-PYO for the job (KOREA TIMES, 12/29). ... Japan's four-time Olympic swimming champion KOSUKE KITAJIMA revealed his engagement to 27-year-old pop singer CHISA, who is the vocalist of the Girl Next Door trio (AFP, 1/2). ... Mexican race walker NOE HERNANDEZ, 34, who won Silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics "was in a serious but stable condition after being shot at the Queen of Kings nightclub in Mexico state." Three gunmen "burst into the club and opened fire on revellers." Hernandez works as sports secretary for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party in the state (SKY NEWS, 1/1). ... Former NBA player MARCUS WILLIAMS "recorded the first doping case" in the Chinese Basketball Association after being tested positive for marijuana. The headline on Chinese website Sina.com read, "The first doping case in CBA as Marcus banned for six months." The CBA also fined Williams' team Shanxi Zhongyu 10,000 yuan ($1,500) (XINHUA, 1/1).
CRICKET IN THE NEWS: Australia cricketer GLENN MCGRATH will be inducted into the Int'l Cricket Council Hall of Fame on Friday and joins fellow '12-13 inductees West Indies' BRIAN LARA and England's ENID BAKEWELL. McGrath will be inducted at his home ground of the Sydney Cricket Ground (ICC). ... Andhra Cricket Association Honorary Treasurer and Vizianagaram District Cricket Association Organizing Secretary P. APPALA RAJU, who died at a hospital on Tuesday morning, two days before his 80th birthday, "was associated with the game of cricket as a player and later as an administrator for several decades" and was active until very recently (THE HINDU, 1/2).
CEO 2015 Asian Cup MICHAEL BROWN: "What a sad week for cricket. It has lost two outstanding communicators in TG and CMJ. Just like players, commentators will need to step up!"
English cricketer GRAEME SWANN: "Really sad to hear the news that Christopher Martin Jenkins is no longer with us. He was a true scholar of cricket and an absolute gentleman"
BBC cricket correspondent JONATHAN AGNEW: "..... it is doubtful that anyone has contributed more in a lifetime to the overall coverage of cricket than Christopher Martin-Jenkins."
ManU's RIO FERDINAND: "Servicemen/women are seriously underpaid for what they do....sports stars are paid astonishing amounts...we put in work but know we r lucky."
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