SLIDESHOW (above):

Slide 1: The shortlist of 6 for this year's CWC Book of the Year award.

Slides 2 to 4: Participants in the World Cup 2019 student sports journalists workshops at the Oval, Edgbaston and Old Trafford.

Slide 5: Alison Mitchell - the new chair of the Cricket Writers' Club

Slide 6: Lord's, April 16, 2019 - Geoff Lemon - Winner of the Cricket Society/MCC Book of the Year award

Slide 7: House of Lords, March 5, 2019 - Three winners of the ECB’s 2018 Domestic Cricket Journalism Awards, pictured with Chairman of The Cricket Writers' Club, Mark Baldwin

Slide 8: Alex Winter, Domestic Cricket Broadcaster of the Year 2018, pictured with Sir Richard Stilgoe

Slide 9: Nick Westby of the Yorkshire Post, which was awarded both Outstanding Newspaper Coverage and Regional Newspaper of the Year for 2018

Slide 10: Sam Morshead of The Cricketer, which won the Online Coverage award for 2018

Slide 11: Charlotte Edwards (Hampshire) and Rory Burns (Surrey) holding the respective County Championship trophies.

Slide 12: Andrew Longmore

Slide 13: Tony Becca


The book panel of Richard Hobson, Tanya Aldred, Murray Hedgcock, Raf Nicholson and Richard Whitehead has reduced its longlist of 13 for this year's award down to six (see image above). The winner of the £400 prize will be announced at the CWC's annual lunch at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on 1 October. The longlist was as follows (those still in the running are asterisked):

Gary Cox - Cricket Ball, Bloomsbury Academic
* Simon Wilde - England, the Biography, Simon and Schuster
Eric Midwinter - His Captain’s Hand on his Shoulder Smote, ACS Publications
Karunya Keshav and Sidhanta Patnaik - The Fire Burns Blue, Westland Sports
Pat Murphy - The Greatest Season, Fairfield Books
* Robin Smith - The Judge, Yellow Jersey Press
* Graeme Fowler - Mind Over Batter, Simon and Schuster
Moeen Ali - Moeen, Allen and Unwin
* Mike Brearley - On Cricket, Constable
Vic Marks - Original Spin, Allen and Unwin
Mark Peel - Playing the Game, Pitch Publications
* Derek Pringle - Pushing the Boundaries, Hodder
* Geoff Lemon - Steve Smith’s Men, Hardie Grant Books


Three aspiring young cricket writers will be at the ICC World Cup semi-final between England and Australia this week thanks to an initiative run by ICC and the Cricket Writers’ Club.

Earlier in the tournament, 38 young journalists from sports degree courses around the UK attended cricket-writing workshops run by the Cricket Writers’ Club in conjunction with ICC at The Oval, Edgbaston and Old Trafford.

The syllabus included match and news reporting and feature writing. All the students attended pre-match press conferences while students at Old Trafford also got to interview Ian Gould, the ICC Elite Umpire who retired last week. They were also joined by members of the ICC’s global event operations team, who gave a flavour of how the media operation runs at ICC events. The courses were overseen by Cricket Writers’ Club’s Bruce Talbot, who has written about the game for more than 30 years, and journalists Lizzy Ammon, from The Times, Will Macpherson, of the London Evening Standard, and Tanya Aldred, of The Guardian. 

They have chosen Harry Normanton, Georgie Heath and Joe Langsworthy to attend England’s semi-final where they will write a piece on the match for ICC’s website. The writer of the best submission will then attend the final at Lord’s and write a match report for the website. He or she will also win a prize of $500.

It’s a dream come true for the young journalists. Harry, who is studying journalism with News Associates at Twickenham University, said: “The workshop at The Oval offered a brilliant insight into the world of cricket reporting. The chance to attend a press conference and mine the expertise of three seasoned cricket journalists was invaluable.”

Joe is studying sports journalism at Solent University. He said: “The workshop at Edgbaston was a glimpse through the keyhole into the world of cricket reporting. Being given the opportunity to attend press conferences and write match reports in such an incredible venue was a phenomenal experience. I’m certain that attending the workshop has benefitted my career as a sports journalist.”

Georgie, who is studying for a journalism diploma with the Press Association, was one of eight girls who took part. She said: “I can’t remember ever not being in to cricket. It seemed inevitable as my mum is from Yorkshire and named after Australian cricketer Lindsay Hassett. She even tried to drive to Yorkshire when my brother was born so he could qualify to play for them! The course was a fantastic experience and it’s amazing to be going back to Edgbaston for the semi-final.”

Bruce Talbot said that the journalists were very impressed by the standard of submissions. He said: “Their passion for cricket writing is already evident and we hope the experiences they gain will help towards their dream of becoming full-time cricket writers in the future.”


The Cricket Writers' Club have been asked by the ICC to run workshops for student sports journalists at three venues during this year’s World Cup. Bruce Talbot has organised the workshops for CWC in conjunction with ICC and the first took place at The Oval on Tuesday, 4th June, when Lizzy Ammon and Will Macpherson conducted a Q&A session with the young journalists. One student from each workshop will attend the semi-final at Edgbaston on July 11 and write a report for the ICC website. The winner will then attend the final and win a $500 prize.

Anna Parkinson, who is studying sports journalism at the University of Lincoln, has written a piece about her experience at The Oval:

Cricket. With its fast-paced bowling, big-hitting batsmen, numerous overs and fans yelling “Howzat” in the stadium to guarantee a passionate atmosphere and experience. I’d go as far to say cricket offers more fluctuation than an action film.

You may ask why I decided to go for this opportunity. Well, what’s life if you don’t take every opportunity you can? Aside this, cricket holds a special sentiment in my family down the generations from my Great, Great Grandfather, my Grandad, to my Dad, to me. It’s a feel-good, fun sport which I’m reminded of every time I am home. Mainly because my Dad proudly displays a framed photograph of him batting in a local match on the mantlepiece.

From the perspective of an aspiring, young, female journalist it’s important to get involved with as much as possible - whether it be sport-related or not. My passion for writing and quest to get as much out of my time at the University of Lincoln encouraged me to take this opportunity.

The morning of the workshop arrived. Numerous train changes later, I found myself walking up Harleyford Road, made famous by Henry Blofeld in many Test match commentaries. With the MI6 behind me, I could see it. The Oval, a ground encompassing so much history. Typically, my Dad and I were accompanied by good old British weather. Rain.

Soon after arriving, our group was shown around the Oval. We were then taken to a press conference with none other than New Zealand Vice Capitan Tom Latham. I don’t think the term ‘star struck’ covers it.

The time came for us to embark on some work. Firstly, a quotes-based press report. A completely unknown territory. The challenge of writing up Latham’s conference as a piece of journalism filled me with apprehension. But looking out onto the iconic Oval ground ignited my determination to complete this task to the best of my ability. Before I knew it, I’d done it. My first ever press report.

Soon, it was time for lunch. Always a talking point in the commentary box at a cricket match, especially the cake. This time we had a fruit cake to enjoy before the next task.

A match report on England v Pakistan. The calm tranquillity of the Oval added to the awe-inspiring atmosphere, which encouraged me to believe in my ability. 502 words later, I’d finished.

We then had a Q&A with two industry professionals. Will Macpherson and Lizzy Ammon. Listening to the work they do was captivating, even the reality of a 17-and-a-half-hour day. Being the only girl at the workshop, it was refreshing to find that there are equal opportunities in journalism for both men and women after University.

Before I knew it, the final part of the day had arrived. A press conference with Bangladesh’s coach, Steve Rhodes. With my media accreditation proudly hanging from my neck, my phone and laptop to hand, I felt a sense of belonging. The nerves I felt when I arrived had been discarded like a pile of unwanted baggage.

Yesterday’s experience taught me a lot. Firstly, to go for it, no matter how daunting it may seem. The nerves which flooded my body like a tidal wave were far outweighed by the sensations of inspiration and enjoyment I gained throughout the whole experience. Secondly, to believe in myself - I am filled with pride when I reflect on the work I produced.


The club is delighted to announce that respected journalist and commentator Alison Mitchell is the new Chair of The Cricket Writers’ Club.

Alison was formally voted in at the Club’s AGM on 29th April, and in taking over from Mark Baldwin, becomes the first woman to hold the role since the club was formed in 1946.

“It’s a great honour to follow in the footsteps of those who have previously held this position at CWC,” she said. “The Club is an important and enjoyable focal point for the camaraderie that exists around the cricket media. Friends become like a second family over the years.

“Having been on the main Committee since 2015 I’m also acutely aware of the important work the CWC carries out with the help of its members on the sub-committees, liaising with the ECB and the counties on everything from media facilities to the continued support of domestic journalism, to the highly regarded Book and Men’s and Women’s Player Awards that the Club presents at its Annual Lunch.

“Mark Baldwin has done an outstanding job as Chairman and I’d like to thank him for handing over the club in a healthy position, with an enthusiastic membership. I’m keen to grow that membership further across all genres of the media, and so I encourage our members to spread the word of the club and always be on the look out to welcome new members in - particularly as we embark on a summer that embraces a Men’s World Cup, together with Men’s and Women’s Ashes. It’s going to be a busy and exciting time.”


Please note that as the event takes place in the Pavilion, you will need to adhere to the dress regulations. If you have ECB media accreditation, please bring it to show at the Grace Gates when you enter the ground. If you do not have ECB media accreditation and are intending to come, please let
Will Macpherson know and he will pass your name on to MCC so you can get into the ground.

Tea and coffee will be served from 1.30pm before the meeting begins at 2pm (see the agenda below). Afterwards there will be food and a social in the Long Room Bar from around 4pm. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.


1. Apologies for absence
2. Absent Friends
3. Matters arising from the Annual General Meeting held at Trent Bridge on 25th April, 2018
4. Chairman’s Report
5. Secretary’s Report
6. Treasurer’s Report & Balance Sheet
7. Sub-Committee Reports (Lunch, Facilities, Sponsorship, International, Awards, Website Editor’s Report + Curator’s Report)
8. 2019 Annual Lunch – approval of proposed ticket prices
9. Update on ECB Domestic Cricket Journalism Awards
10. Data protection update
11. CWC Cricket update
12. Election of Officers
13. Election of New Associate & Full Members
14. Any Other Business
15. Vote of thanks to MCC.


May I point CWC members to a piece on Andrew Longmore, who tragically died recently aged 65, written on the Sports Journalists' Association website by Malcolm Folley. It can be accessed via:

Andrew was a long-standing member of CWC and, in his youth, was an excellent cricketer who toured with England Under-19s and was a contemporary at Oxford University of Imran Khan and Vic Marks.

I first knew Andrew when he worked for The Cricketer magazine in the early 1980s, and subsequently he had a fine sports writing career on The Times, the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Times. He died in his sleep, reportedly from a heart condition, while on a walking holiday in the south of France. He had recently retired from full-time journalism. There will be a memorial service for Andrew in the future, probably later in the year.

Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman
23rd April 2019

Australian cricket writer Geoff Lemon was at Lord’s on Tuesday April 16 to receive this year’s Cricket Society/MCC Book of the Year Award during a Long Room dinner attended by a good number of Cricket Writers’ Club members.
Lemon’s book, Steve Smith’s Men, Behind Australian Cricket’s Fall, had the previous week also won Wisden’s cricket book of the year prize. He received a cheque for £3,000 for taking the Cricket Society/MCC award.
As in previous years, MCC invited a group of CWC members to help to host the event, and I am grateful to Lawrence Booth, Geoffrey Dean, Andrew Miller, John Stern, Dan Norcross and Graham Morris for joining me to represent the Club, and also to Neil Robinson at MCC for issuing the invites!
Simon Wilde, Stephen Fay and Mihir Bose were present as authors on the six-book shortlist, and other CWC members in the room included Vic Marks, Mike Selvey and Shilpa Patel. Simon Lister, a CWC associate member, gave a witty and very well-received keynote address based around his memories of Frank Keating.
The full Cricket Society/MCC Book Award shortlist was:
- Moeen, Moeen Ali with Mihir Bose (Allen and Unwin)
- On Cricket, Mike Brearley (Constable)
- Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket, Stephen Fay and David Kynaston (Bloomsbury)
- Steve Smith’s Men, Behind Australian Cricket’s Fall, Geoff Lemon (Hardie Grant)
- Ambassadors of Goodwill: On tour with the MCC 1946-71, Mark Peel (Pitch Publishing) 
- England, The Biography: The Story of English Cricket, Simon Wilde (Simon and Schuster)
Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman
17th April 2019


Yorkshire Post sports editor Nick Westby, BBC Radio Northampton commentator Alex Winter and The Cricketer’s Sam Morshead were all at the House of Lords on March 5 to be presented with their ECB Domestic Journalism 2018 awards at a special reception.

Isabelle Westbury, the winner in the Young Cricket Journalist of the Year category, could not be present as she was reporting on the England Women’s team in India, but Westby, Winter and Morshead were also joined by CWC chairman Mark Baldwin at a Lord’s Taverners event in which 2018 county champions Surrey and women’s One-Day Cup winners Hampshire were presented with their respective trophies.

Westby collected both the Outstanding Newspaper Coverage and Regional Newspaper of the Year awards in a historic double for the Yorkshire Post, a twin recognition which highlighted both the outstanding contribution of YP cricket correspondent Chris Waters and superb overall coverage of the English domestic game.

Winter won the Commentator of the Year award and Morshead, The Cricketer’s digital editor, picked up the award for the best Online Coverage of domestic cricket in 2018.

Surrey lifted the Specsavers County Championship trophy for the 20th time in 2018, their first triumph since 2002, on the back of an incredible year which saw enjoy a spell nine consecutive victories - their best run of first-class form since 1999.

The Hampshire Women’s side won their first Royal London Women’s One-Day Championship after a campaign that saw them win six of their seven games in the competition - a remarkable achievement for a side that was in division three as recently as 2015.

The Lord’s Taverners ECB Trophy is the official name of the silverware awarded to the winners of the men’s County Championship, while the Women’s One-Day champions receive the Lady Taverners ECB Trophy.

This is the 45th year that the county champions have enjoyed a reception with the Lord’s Taverners since the trophy was introduced for the first time by the charity’s Patron and Twelfth Man, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in 1973. He had recognised that, until that time, the champions had never received a physical trophy so decided to introduce one.

Rory Burns, captain of Surrey, said: "It’s been an honour to be presented with the County Championship trophy at the House of Lords. It was an unbelievable year and I can’t speak highly enough of the hard work and dedication from the players, backroom staff and everyone connected with the club that was needed to win the trophy - it was a real team effort.

"The club has waited a long time to lift this trophy again and it was a very proud moment for all of us. We needed to win games from different positions which showed a lot of character and we are fully aware of the hard work ahead as we look to defend the title."

Hampshire Women’s 2018 captain and now Director of Cricket, Charlotte Edwards, added: "It’s great to be here to be presented with our Royal London Women’s One-Day Championship at such an historic building. It’s been a fantastic day for the players and staff and caps a great year.

"Winning the trophy was a great achievement and it was the culmination of many years of hard work by a lot of people. It’s a fantastic feeling looking back on 2018, but we’re also relishing the opportunity to defend the trophy in the year ahead."


Cricket and the Cricket Writers’ Club have lost one of their truest supporters, greatest friends, finest journalists and wisest counsels with the death of Tony Becca at the age of 78.

Tony, who died in hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, last Thursday, was a former cricket correspondent and, for many years, sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner. He was a past president of the famous Melbourne Cricket Club (the club of Michael Holding and Courtney Walsh among others) and he was proud to be an overseas member of the CWC.

I first met him in 1975 when we were covering the West Indies tour of Australia - Tony for the Gleaner, me for the Daily Express - and we forged a friendship that endured for 44 years.

We had a shared love of the game but, more than that, I respected his views and he at least listened to mine over many happy hours in pavilions from Lord’s to Sabina Park, from the bar at Melbourne Cricket Club to my local pub in Surrey, from his home to mine.

I spoke to him only a few weeks ago and we said we would talk again after the England tour. Sadly that will not happen now and I have sent my condolences and those of the CWC to his wife, Celia and the family, and his friends in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.

Pat Gibson
3rd March 2019


Mark Baldwin writes:

It is an enormous privilege to have been given the opportunity to be CWC Chairman, a role I have now carried out for almost five years. Following our 2019 AGM on Monday April 29, at Lord's, I will step back down into the ranks delighted that Alison Mitchell has accepted the Committee's invitation to be my successor. I do hope that as many of you as possible will get along to Lord's on April 29 - from 2pm - to mark my own last day ‘in office' and to welcome Ali as our next CWC Chairman (if I may be permitted to call her that!).

Ali, who is due to speak to members of the Committee in late March to outline her thoughts ahead of becoming Chairman, will be appointed ‘officially' by the wider Club towards the end of AGM business on April 29; I know she is very much looking forward to becoming our Chairman and, from that position, leading the line for all cricket's media in a rapidly-changing environment. As I have already said in committee, but which I think bears stressing to all CWC members, I firmly believe it is time for the ‘next generation' of cricket journalists (of which Ali is a prominent member) to provide our Club with the clear and decisive leadership it will need in the coming decade and more.

Much might be made of the fact that Ali will be CWC's first female Chairman but, in my opinion, that is largely irrelevant; it is far more important that she is a highly-respected, successful and visible cricket journalist - in both the broadcast and written media - and someone who is at the right age, and at the right stage of her career, to lead our line with distinction. Also sitting on Committee now, by the way, are a sizeable group of other probable future chairmen, so I am absolutely sure that our Club is in very good hands for the foreseeable future.

It is also very much worth saying here, of course, that it is not at all unusual for women to play leading roles in the running of the Cricket Writers' Club. Wendy Wimbush, Treasurer for 31 years of CWC's 73-year history, and also Assistant Secretary for much of that time, holds such a magnificent record as the Club's longest-serving officer that it may well never be broken. And, while Wendy has set quite a standard, others such as Gemma Wright, Shilpa Patel, Raf Nicholson, Mandy Shepherd, Clare Skinner and Ali herself have also made significant contributions in recent years to CWC affairs. Additionally, Tanya Aldred has in the past year joined both the CWC Awards and CWC Book of the Year sub-Committees.

Between now and the AGM, however, there is still much for me to do as Chairman before handing over the reins to Ali and then giving her my full support as a continuing member of the Committee.

Preparation for this year's Annual Lunch, on Tuesday October 1, is already under way (see below) and there has been much liaison in recent weeks with ECB on both the accreditation process for 2019 and on the resumption next month of the ECB Reporters' Network.

At this time of year, too, the final touches to the CWC Handbook are being made, again in liaison with ECB, so please send any contact or home address changes to Gemma Wright, our Handbook Editor, as soon as possible. The 2019 Handbook will be printed in late March and distributed in the first week of April.

Vithushan Ehantharajah writes:

Our AGM has been set for Monday April 29 in the pavilion at Lord's. Many thanks to Will Macpherson, soon to be in the hot seat, for organising the date and liaising with MCC to allow us a run at the Pavilion Bar for our post-AGM social. The AGM starts at 2.00pm and the social will start around 3.30pm-6.00pm. Please adhere to the dress codes applicable to the Lord's pavilion. The AGM agenda and further details will be circulated by the end of March.

Mark Baldwin writes:

Ticket prices for the 2019 Annual Lunch on Tuesday October 1, again to be held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, will be discussed by the CWC Committee in late March and ratified at the AGM on April 29. It is hoped at this stage that there will not be any increase on 2018 prices.

The sub-Committee is due to meet on March 7, to discuss this year's arrangements with the hotel venue staff, and menu choices and other details about this year's Lunch will be circulated soon afterwards and also placed on the CWC website. I am delighted that Alex Winter has accepted an invitation to join the sub-Committee, in order to provide input from the sizeable county commentators' group - and also from the younger end of the Club - following the sad loss of Dave Callaghan last year.

David Fulton writes:

I need to place on record my and the Club's thanks to both William Hill and the Lord's Taverners, our two most notable sponsors, for their continued support in 2019. Their respective annual sponsorships are crucial in allowing the Club to offer significant discounted tickets - especially for individual members - at the Annual Lunch.

The news earlier this winter that the Lord's Taverners have signed a new three-year agreement to continue their support of CWC into 2020-2022 is hugely appreciated. A sub-Committee meeting is planned for late March, at which we will be discussing other potential sponsorships and partnerships, for the benefit of all CWC members.
Simon Wilde writes:

Chris Haynes is to leave his role as ECB's director of communications at the end of April, only weeks before England host the Cricket World Cup.
Haynes joined ECB in 2015 and his tenure was dominated in the later stages by the task of selling the new competition and handling the Ben Stokes trial. There was speculation that Haynes carried the can for the ECB's difficulties winning over the counties and the public to The Hundred, although Haynes himself insisted he had reached a natural end point after four years, and with plans for the new competition nearing completion.

The Club had recently made its feelings known about Tom Harrison's lack of availability to print media throughout 2018, although that changed during the recent West Indies tour. James Motley, like Haynes a former Sky employee, has been appointed head of communications for the new competition.

Midlands - Jon Culley writes:
I've had an email round to all my grounds - and to Eddie Bevan on his Caribbean cruise - and apart from a minor Wi-Fi issue at Northampton, which is being sorted, everywhere gets a clean bill of health. Evidently, even the Wi-Fi on Eddie's boat works.

North - Graham Hardcastle writes:
Nothing of any real significance at any of the venues, although it may be worth pointing out that at Yorkshire the new development of the Football Stand will certainly have no impact on parking for domestic games. Parking is still in car park F. At international games it can sometimes mean parking a bit further down St Michael's Lane.