Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are encouraging local cricket clubs and schools to enter the second annual CMJ Spirit of Cricket Awards – with Lord’s matchday tickets and a cash prize on offer to the winners.
The initiative was created by the two organisations in memory of former MCC President and BBC Test Match Special commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins, who passed away in January 2013.
There are four awards which are given to those who have best exhibited the Spirit of Cricket either on a specific occasion or throughout the season, be that through outstanding sportsmanship, fair play or respect for opponents and umpires.
This year there is a Boys’ and Girls’ Award – given to the class, team or individual boy or girl who has best displayed the Spirit of Cricket either on a specific occasion or throughout the season.
The winning boys and girls will be rewarded with tickets to the Royal London One Day Cup Final at Lord’s on Saturday 20th September and will be interviewed as part of the BBC Test Match Special coverage of the match.
There is also a Schools Award which is based on the same criteria. The successful school will be presented with a combined £2000 from MCC and the BBC to help support its cricket program for 2015. The entrants must also demonstrate a clear need for the prize money, and explain how it will be spent.
Finally, the Elite Award is given to a player from a UK county who has best displayed the Spirit of Cricket either on a specific occasion or through the season.
The winners are selected by a panel of judges from MCC and the BBC, with nominations closing at noon on Monday 1st September 2014.
Last year’s winner of the Elite Award was Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen, who was recognised for walking of his own accord in a County Championship match against Yorkshire despite being given not out after edging a ball to the wicketkeeper.
Alton County Cricket Under 13 girls’ team won the 2013 Youth Award (now split into the Boys and Girls Awards) after lending fielders to their opposition in a league fixture last summer.
City Academy in Bristol were the beneficiaries of the Schools Award last year and have put their cash prize towards enhancing their cricket performance initiative.
Mike Gatting, MCC President and one of Martin-Jenkins’ former co-commentators, said: “CMJ was someone who embodied the Spirit of Cricket and I’m delighted to help launch these awards in his name for a second year running. As Guardian of the Laws and Spirit of Cricket, MCC works tirelessly to promote the ‘Play Hard, Play Fair’ message across the world. It was fantastic to see so many youngsters showing such great sportsmanship last year and I am looking forward to seeing the entries for this years’ awards.”
Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew said: “The Spirit of Cricket is not easily defined, as recent incidents in international matches have shown. But it is crucial for the integrity of the game that the unwritten code of playing fairly and respectfully is recognised and preserved by everyone who is lucky enough to play cricket.”
To find out more about the awards or to submit an entry, visit www.lords.org/cmjawards