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ESPNcricinfo has been named Online Publication of the Year for the third year running in the ECB's annual County Journalism Awards. With increased video coverage to accompany detailed match reports and the ever-popular County Cricket Live blog, the site was described as being "without peers" in the online category.
Vithushan Ehantharajah, one of ESPNcricinfo's regular county reporters, was named Christopher Martin-Jenkins Young Journalist of the Year, while Tim Wigmore, another contributor, was highly commended in the same category. Ehantharajah receives a £5000 prize supported by the Times.
For the second year running, the Cricket Paper collected the National Newspaper award, while the Yorkshire Post also retained the Regional Newspaper crown. Richard Rae, of BBC Radio Leicestershire, won the Christopher Martin-Jenkins County Broadcaster of the Year award and also collects £5000.
The awards, which recognise outstanding contributions towards the coverage of domestic cricket during the county season, were judged by three journalists - Mark Baldwin, chairman of the Cricket Writers' Club, Pat Gibson and David Lloyd (who, in the interests of disclosure, also contributes to ESPNcricinfo) - and the ECB's director of communications, Colin Gibson. Former BBC Test Match Special producer Peter Baxter adjudicated the broadcast award.
The presentations will be made on Thursday evening at the ECB's Business of Cricket Awards, which will be attended by representatives of all 18 first-class counties and the MCC.
"The print, online and broadcast media play a vital role in the wider promotion of our domestic game and we were delighted to see such strong competition for this year's awards across all categories," the ECB's chief operating officer, Gordon Hollins, said. "We congratulate all our winners and also thank the Times once again for supporting the Young County Journalist of the Year award."
Baldwin added: "The awards are designed to recognise outstanding coverage of county cricket and there was no doubt, as in 2013, that the Cricket Paper produced the most comprehensive and consistent coverage of every level of the domestic game. ESPNcricinfo was also without peers in the Online category, particularly impressing with the depth and breadth of its domestic coverage across multi-media platforms despite operating within tight budgetary constraints.
"It was most heartening to see the strength, and depth, of the field in the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Young Journalist of the Year award, and Vithushan Ehantharajah can be proud of his achievement in coming out on top in this category.
"I would also like to congratulate Richard Rae on heading a similarly-competitive Christopher Martin-Jenkins County Broadcaster of the Year field, while The Yorkshire Post was a deserved winner of the Regional Newspaper of the Year award by rising to the challenge of chronicling Yorkshire's triumphant County Championship campaign besides providing outstanding all-round coverage."