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Letter: Christopher Martin-Jenkins got me into Wisden - as a poet


It was Christopher Martin-Jenkins who got me into Wisden – not, to my regret, as a slow bowler, but as a poet.

When he was editor of The Cricketer in the 1980s he published various poems and drawings by me and they eventually became a slim volume. To my astonishment, they received a warm review by John Arlott in Wisden, and it must have been CMJ who passed them on to him. Later some of the poems appeared in CMJ's anthology The Spirit of Cricket.

When the Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson was working on Test Match Special, I sent a poem I'd written about him to CMJ asking if he'd pass it on. He did better than that; he had the somewhat embarrassed Thommo read it out live on TMS. My mum and dad were overjoyed. I once met CMJ – my favourite commentator since Arlott – at the back of the Lord's Pavilion, and he was as courteous and generous as ever.

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