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Regional titles win funding to aid cricket coverage

Three regional newspapers have won financial assistance to help supplement their coverage of professional cricket.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced the Cornwall-based Sunday Independent as its Regional Newspaper of the Year at its annual County Cricket Journalism Awards.

As part of its award, the Independent will receive a £2,500 prize supported by the Cricket Writers’ Club in association with three sponsors, to be spent on supplementing coverage of the game by staff writers or regular freelance contributors.

Judges were impressed by the newspaper’s in-depth coverage of Somerset, Gloucestershire, Minor County and club cricket in its South-West region.


The Manchester Evening News and Nottingham Post were highly commended in the same category, and will also receive monetary awards.

The prizes come after David Hopps, editor of leading cricket website ESPNCricinfo, claimed in June that the regional press had “given up” on covering the sport professionally.

Mark Baldwin, chairman of the Cricket Writers’ Club, said: “The Cricket Writers’ Club’s continued support for ECB’s initiative in running these awards now includes offering prize monies in the Regional Newspaper of the Year category, precisely because the club wants to do what it can to support hard-pressed cricket writers in the regional press and also to underline its belief in the value to the game of coverage of county cricket in this area.

“Many congratulations to the Sunday Independent for its superb, in-depth coverage of Somerset, Gloucestershire, Minor County and club cricket in its South-West region.

“The Manchester Evening News and the Nottingham Post also fully deserve their commendations in this category and the monetary awards they will all receive are designed to supplement coverage of the county game by their staff writers or regular freelance contributors. I look forward to seeing an even larger and stronger entry for this category in 2017, when CWC will again be offering the same monetary prizes.”

“It is in the interests of everyone who follows and cherishes county cricket that standards in media coverage across all platforms should be as high as possible, as a reflection of the strong and passionate following for our domestic game, and I would like to congratulate too the winners of the other three categories in this year’s awards.”

Sunday Independent editor John Collings said: “We’re honoured to win this award because its values share our values: a passion for and commitment to sport all levels, particularly grass-roots sport which these days too often struggles for the comprehensive coverage it deserves.

“Everyone says we are the number one newspaper for local sport but to be recognised by such an august body as the ECB is incredibly rewarding; it makes all the effort and the long hours worthwhile.

“From the energy, experience and authority of our number one writer Richard Latham to columnists like Somerset legend Marcus Trescothick to my team here in our South East Cornwall office and to all those out on the cricket grounds around the West Country, where people give us their wholehearted support, we couldn’t do it without them all.”

The award win comes 10 weeks after the death of the paper’s owner Brian Doel, and John added: “He loved his paper and his sport, and would have been humbled by this recognition. And it underlines the Sunday Independent’s commitment to deliver excellence in our unique weekly offering of comprehensive sports coverage supported by news and features from the West Country.”

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  • October 27, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Well played John and team – and excuse the pun (s).

    However, the fact that local media have to win cash prizes to pay for coverage for any sport – something they used to do as a matter of course – is deeply worrying.

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