ESPNcricinfo’s Matt Roller wins prestigious CMJ Young Journalist Award

ESPNcricinfo's Matt Roller wins prestigious CMJ Young Journalist Award
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Website highly commended in ECB Domestic Journalism Awards

Matt Roller, ESPNcricinfo’s assistant editor, has been named as the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Young Journalist of the Year.

Roller, 24, was the unanimous choice for the 11th edition of the ECB Domestic Journalism Awards, having been highly commended in 2021, after impressing the judging panel with a wide-ranging portfolio of stories. These included a sensitively handled piece on Rashid Khan during the Hundred, set against the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and a revealing interview with Lancashire’s legspinner, Matt Parkinson, not long after one of his early-season dismissals had drawn comparisons with the late, great Shane Warne.

“The panel were unanimous in their decision to award Matt Roller the Young Cricket Journalist award in a very strong field,” the ECB said in announcing the awards. “Roller’s storytelling and newsgathering qualities were particularly evident from his submissions.

Wisden Cricket Monthly’s Taha Hashim and Isaan Khan of the Daily Mail were highly commended in the category. “The panel would also like to state how impressed they were with those who entered, particularly the variety of topics across all submissions,” the ECB added.

Andrew Miller, ESPNcricinfo’s UK editor, said: “It is immensely gratifying to see Matt recognised for his efforts, which have been over and above, ever since he joined us straight out of University in time for the 2019 Ashes.

“In addition to the domestic focus of this award – which includes Matt’s agenda-setting reports from the first season of the Hundred – he has been leading the way in our international coverage, particularly at the T20 World Cup in the UAE last year, where he was one of our two correspondents from across our global team.”

ESPNcricinfo was also highly commended in the Outstanding Online Coverage of Domestic Cricket award, with focal points including the extensive coverage of the racism scandal at Yorkshire, and full ball-by-ball written commentary for all men’s and women’s fixtures in the Hundred. The award was won by The Cricketer Online, with BBC Sport also highly commended.

Adrian Harms (BBC Radio Sussex) was named the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Domestic Cricket Broadcaster of the Year. The 2014 winner Richard Rae (BBC Radio Leicestershire) and Ed Seabourne (BBC Radio Bristol) were commended.

The Bolton News won the Regional Newspaper of the Year for the first time to keep the award in the north west. The Liverpool Echo were crowned the 2020 winners and were highly commended for its coverage during 2021.

The Cricket Paper won the Outstanding Newspaper Coverage of Domestic Cricket award for the first time since 2016.

ECB Managing Director of County Cricket, Neil Snowball, said: “These awards have showcased the quality of domestic cricket journalism for over a decade and I would like to congratulate this year’s winners who deserve their place on the honour roll.

“The depth and talent of entries for the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Young Journalist award was particularly striking this year. The written and broadcast media play a valuable role in the health of our game and it is pleasing to see so many impressive young journalists coming through and getting opportunities to do that important job.

“I would also like to thank the Cricket Writers’ Club for its support and the judging panel, made up of journalists and broadcasters from across the world, for taking time out of their busy schedules to judge the awards.”

George Dobell, ESPNcricinfo’s former senior correspondent who chairs the CWC, added: “Thanks to the ECB for continuing to value the work of our members. There are times, no doubt, when we disagree, but there will always be far more that unites us than divides. Thanks, too, to all the publications who continue to provide space to our great game.”

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