It’s that time of year again. December brings the Dmitris. Like Wisden Cricketers of the Year but on a shoestring budget. Like Sports Personality of the Year but without a gala occasion and no Andy Murray. In the past two years they have been awarded to people, groups of people, numbers, teams etc. They aren’t all about merit, but significance to the blog, and major events. I’m not limiting them in number, but year 1 had 10, year 2 had 7 (I think).
The first Dmitri this year is awarded to a journalist who I think has contributed to matters discussed in this blog, and who I know a number of you regard highly. It is for Tim Wigmore, who finished a very close second in the Poll for favourite journalist.
OK, let’s get something out of the way. I’ve met Tim a couple of times, and also spoken to him a little off line, but not a lot. So this is most definitely not an award because I am in any way friendly with him. However, my votes, which count for more in the poll (because I’m an authoritarian dictator) did propel him over long-time leader Jarrod Kimber into the top spot for a while before a usual suspect had a late rally. Jarrod did not make my top three this year, although that’s not any major reflection on him – he did not make Death of a Gentleman this year after all!
So why Tim? Well, first of all George and Jarrod have won a Dmitri and so they can’t win it again! The poll is separate, but influential in the Dmitri awards. He was by far the highest scorer of those that have not got one. There are many reasons why. What we see from Tim is pure grunt work. He’s not a test match reporter like his more glamorous peers, but he’s very much an international cricket man. His work on the Associate nations, especially in The Cricket Paper, is absolutely top notch, but it isn’t confined to that – his work for cricinfo and occasional forays into the national press resonate. He attacks his subjects with brilliant passion, has a wide range to his brief, and importantly to us on here, he goes on the attack when he thinks the game is going wrong, and because he so transparently believes in his position. I think he’s the best out there at what he does.
The Editorial board were discussing this at our meeting on 22 November, and compared his output to others in the up and coming group. Compared to Chris Stocks and Will McPherson, we thought Tim had the better pieces, the more tricky and meaty subjects, and yes, we probably had less cause to be annoyed at the pieces than with the other two.
I wish Tim all the best going forward, tackling the Associate agenda with the gusto he’s shown so far, doing the grind on the county scene, and hopefully getting the big break if he so wants it. Let’s put it this way, without his input into the Cricket Paper, we’d be left with a lot of Stocks and Pringle. Good for copy on the blog, but not on my blood pressure.
So the first Dmitri of 2016 goes to Tim, for the slot reserved for our favourite journos, and joins Dobell and Kimber/Collins in the Dmitri Award Hall of Fame. As great an honour as there is in the game I’m sure! But it’s a clear message from us that Tim should keep on keeping on.
The Final poll results will follow in the next few days.