الأربعاء , يونيو 10 2020

Cricket legend Benaud dies aged 84

Former Australia captain and legendary cricket commentator Richie Benaud has died at the age of 84.

A pioneering leg-spin bowler, Benaud played in 63 Tests, 28 as captain, before retiring in 1964 to pursue a career in journalism and broadcasting.

His final commentary in England came during the 2005 Ashes series but he continued to work for Channel Nine in Australia until 2013.

In November,

he revealed

he was being treated for skin cancer.

Benaud took 945 wickets in 259 first-class matches and made 11,719 first-class runs, scoring 23 centuries at an average of 36.50.

He was the first man to achieve 2,000 runs and 200 wickets at Test level.

He was also a highly regarded tactician and never lost a Test series as Australia captain, winning five and drawing two.

After such an impressive playing career, he became even better known as a prolific author, columnist and commentator on cricket.

Richie Benaud impersonators

Richie Benaud’s appearance was affectionately parodied at Australian grounds

Following the 1956 Ashes tour in England, he completed a BBC training course while still a player, marking the beginning of 40-year association with the corporation.

His first BBC radio commentary came in 1960, followed by his first television appearance three years later.

With his mellifluous, light delivery, enthusiastically imitated by comedians and cricket fans alike, Benaud also became the lead commentator on Australian television’s Channel Nine from 1977.

At the age of 83, he crushed two vertebrae when his 1963 Sunbeam vintage sports car

hit a brick wall

near to his Coogee home in Sydney.

Benaud often spoke of a return to commentary, but, to the great sadness of his legions of admirers, it did not materialise.

Benaud, who was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1961 for services to cricket. leaves a wife of 48 years, Daphne, and two children from his first marriage.

Richie Benaud bowling

Richie Benaud took 248 Test wickets with a best of 7-72 against India in October 1956

Richie and Daphne Benaud

Benaud married his wife Daphne in 1967

The Channel Nine team in 2010

Richie Benaud led an acclaimed Channel Nine commentary team, which featured the late Tony Greig (left), Ian Chappell (second right) and Bill Lawry (right)

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