ESPNcricinfo has been named Online Publication of the Year for the fourth year running in the ECB's annual County Journalism Awards, following another domestic season in which the site's ever-popular County Cricket Live blog anchored its peerless in-depth written and video coverage of the LV= County Championship race.
Tim Wigmore, one of ESPNcricinfo's regular county reporters, was named Christopher Martin-Jenkins Young Journalist of the Year, and receives a £5000 prize supported by the Times.
The Times reclaimed the award as National Newspaper of the Year for the first time since 2011 (with a commendation for The Cricket Paper, last year's winner).
There are new winners for the Regional Newspaper of the Year Award, with The Journal and the Sunday Sun sharing the prize, for their coverage of Durham and county cricket in general. Two new names to the awards are commended in this category for different forms of coverage; the South London Press for its weekly coverage of Surrey, and The Sentinel, for its comprehensive coverage of Minor Counties and league cricket in Staffordshire.
Clive Eakin, who covers Warwickshire for BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire, wins the County Broadcaster of the Year Award, one of two awards named after Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the former BBC Test Match Special commentator and cricket correspondent of The Times and the Daily Telegraph, who passed away in 2013.
Mark Baldwin, the chairman of the Cricket Writers Club, a member of the five-strong judging panel, said: "The awards were started in 2011 to celebrate and encourage outstanding coverage of county cricket, so it was heartening for all of us to reflect on the quality of the competition this year.
"In the Young Journalist of the Year category in particular, the standard was as high as it has ever been. Tim Wigmore is a worthy winner, having been commended last year, for writing with intelligence and authority across a range of subjects for different publications. He had to be, given the competition from several other entrants, all of whom relished the range of opportunities available to young writers across various platforms.
"They include ESPNcricinfo, whose all-round coverage of the county game remains excellent, and also The Cricket Paper, whose continued commitment to county cricket was noted and praised by the panel. But we felt that The Times should be recognised both for continuing to invest in eye-witness coverage of county cricket, and for providing regular space for the county game.
"Clive Eakin's award is also deserved recognition for one of the BBC's longest serving local radio commentators; he is someone who has an intimate knowledge of the county scene and is now gaining more exposure than ever before thanks to the BBC's ball-by-ball coverage of domestic cricket."
ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: "At the end of a season which saw record attendances for domestic and international cricket, it's important that we recognise the role played by a wide range of media in promoting county cricket to a wider audience.
"These awards have once again attracted a high number of entries and demonstrated that our county game continues to attract significant interest from print, online and broadcast media nationwide. We send our congratulations to all the winners and would like to thank everyone who entered the awards and everyone who helps to support the county game. "