Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit

Read Review
<back to archive

CMJ: A Cricketing Life By Christopher Martin-Jenkins

Release date: 19th May, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

List Price: £25.00
Our Price: £15.10
You Save: £9.9 (39%)
Buy Now

Given the game's multiple idiosyncrasies, it seems that cricket is, rightly, among the sports most heavily populated with abbreviated, but easily-recognisable, forms of players, officials and reporters' names (Johnners, Beefy, Aggers etc). Naturally enough, it follows that one of the most famed TMS characters should name his memoirs CMJ.

Christopher Martin-Jenkins, he of the mellifluous voice, fine cricket writing and sometimes willing foil for co-commentators such as Henry Blofeld, has been around cricket for all of his working life. His memoirs are laden with tales of cricketing folk and their occasionally quirky ways, but he's not afraid to express opinions on matters as far-ranging as television's obsession with football, the changing nature of Ashes duels and the debilitating impact match-fixing is having on the game.

Educated at Marlborough College and Cambridge (where he was a contemporary of historian David Starkey), CMJ appeared destined to become a cricket writer from the moment he was interviewed by EW Swanton for the post as assistant to the deputy editor of The Cricketer. A talented all-rounder (he scored his first 50 at Lord's in 1972), CMJ later moved to the BBC where he would eventually become a household name.

The list of people (and accompanying anecdotes or pithy, descriptive one-liners) with whom he has worked reads like a sporting Who's Who. Several, such as Colin Milburn and Henry Blofeld, stand out, the former for almost drinking a Mediterranean cruise ship dry, the latter for being Blowers - a man who invariably turned up at the start of a new cricket season and announced he had fallen in love. Again.

Though primarily a sports fan (he's a keen golfer), CMJ despairs at what he calls the "pernicious Premier League" which, he maintains, "tends to swallow all in its over-hyped wake." He has a point - as he does when asking why the BBC has jettisoned its original brief to 'inform, educate and entertain' and replaced it with a celebrity-based obsession.

CMJ writes extraordinarily well, engaging readers with a lightness of touch which allows him to accommodate everything from amusing anecdotes to trenchant opinion. His memoir has the feel of a conversation held with someone during a cricket match, a chat alternating between tales of exasperation and stories of sporting prowess. It's exactly as a memoir should be.

<back to archive


SBOTM Current Top 10

Through Sand and Snow By Charlie Walker
Charlie Walker
Read Review Buy Now
Graham Taylor: In His Own Words By Graham Taylor
Peloton Books
Read Review Buy Now
Lillee and Thommo The Deadly Pairís Reign of Terror By Ian Brayshaw
Hardie Grant
Read Review Buy Now
Unbreakable By Jelena Dokic with Jess Halloran
Ebury Press
Read Review Buy Now
Running: Cheaper Than Therapy By Chas Newkey-Burden
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
In The Zone How Champions Think and Win Big By Martin Brolin
Blink Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Re: Cyclists 200 Years On Wheels By Michael Hutchinson
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
Klopp: Bring the Noise By Raphael Honigstein
Yellow Jersey Press
Read Review Buy Now
The Boy on the Shed By Paul Ferris
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Leap In By Alexandra Heminsley
Windmill Books
Read Review Buy Now

Amazonís top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 Ė 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.