Over the eight years or so that I worked with CMJ on Test Match Special and the circuit that newspaper cricket correspondents follow, we became friends.
He was known by those close to him as The Major and was a man who just loved cricket – everything about it. He loved being around the grounds and working in the sport, but it was not just international games that grabbed his attention. He was a great lover of county cricket, too.
Cricket ran through Christopher’s family and he was immensely proud that his son, Robin, carved out a first-class career with Sussex.
It’s fair to say he was a traditionalist. That came through in the views he expressed. He judged situations by what he saw as the interests of cricket and hated anybody taking advantage of the game.
He was a very good commentator. He had a great voice but was fun, too, having that slightly mischievous approach that sums up the style of TMS. Pairing him with Phil Tufnell produced what you thought would be the odd couple, but they worked together brilliantly.
Maybe it was because CMJ had a bit of the mad professor about him. His notorious difficulties with technology revealed that and my favourite anecdote came on a tour when, after a commentary stint, he tried repeatedly to phone his newspaper office using the TV remote control he had mistakenly picked up off his hotel bed.
Christopher had some of the biggest roles in cricket outside of actually playing the game, and deserved every one of them. He was president of MCC in 2010-11, highlighting the regard in which he was held within the game.Reuse content