Richie Benaud, former Australia cricket captain, dies at 84

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April 10, 2015

Former Australia cricket captain and renowned commentator Richie Benaud has died aged 84. He had been receiving treatment for skin cancer since November.

Renowned and legendary Australian criketer "Richie Benaud"

April 10, 2015

Former Australia cricket captain and renowned commentator Richie Benaud has died aged 84. He had been receiving treatment for skin cancer since November.

Renowned and legendary Australian criketer "Richie Benaud"

A veteran of 63 Test matches, Benaud played a pivotal role in the formation of World Series Cricket in the 1970s and was one of the world’s most recognized commentators.

The Penrith-born Benaud enjoyed a successful career as a wily leg-spin bowler and middle-order batsman.

Benaud was the first player to score 2,000 Test runs and take 200 Test wickets yet was as renowned for his captaincy. He led his country in 28 Tests and never lost a series as Australian captain.

After retiring, Benaud became a commentary icon, initially with the BBC in England and later in his native Australia. He was the mainstay in Australian cricket television commentary until the past two summers – a car accident in 2013 sidelined him before he announced in November last year that he was fighting skin cancer.

“When I was a kid we never ever wore a cap … because Keith Miller never wore a cap, “Benaud said at the time.

“If I knew, when I was at school and playing in my early cricket days, the problems that would have come if I didn’t do something about protection of the head and using sunscreens and all sorts of things like that, I’d have played it differently. It’s one of those things in life: you live and learn as you go along.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott also paid his respects and said that Benaud’s family would be offered a state funeral.

“Our nation has lost an icon,” he said at a media conference. “Richie Benaud has been the voice of cricket. There would be very few Australians who have not passed a summer in the company of Richie Benaud. He was the accompaniment of an Australian summer. His voice was even more present than the chirping of the cicadas in our suburbs and towns and that voice, tragically, is now still.”

Australian Test captain Michael Clarke said Benaud was a gentleman who played cricket in the right spirit.

“He was a great player and a great captain; a wonderful leader of men and he continued that off the field,” Clarke told the Nine Network. “He loved winning. He helped the Australian team have the attitude where they wanted to win. He played the game the right way.”


Courtesy: The Guardian