Benaud was a Test cricket all-rounder, blending thoughtful leg spin bowling with lower-order batting aggression. Along with fellow bowling all-rounder Alan Davidson, he helped restore Australia to the top of world cricket in the late 1950s and early 1960s after a slump in the early 1950s. In 1958 he became Australia’s Test captain until his retirement in 1964.
After retiring from playing in 1964, Benaud turned to full-time cricket journalism and commentary, dividing his time between Britain (where he worked for the BBC for many years before joining Channel 4 in 1999), and Australia (for the Nine Network). Overall he played in or commentated on approximately 500 Test matches, as he himself noted in one of his final interviews in Britain when asked if he would miss Test cricket.
His final commentary in England came during the 2005 Ashes series, but he continued to work for Channel Nine in Australia until 2013. 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
Here are the 5 reasons to remember the great Australian Legend :-
1. He was the undisputed voice of cricket
“Maaaarvelllous.” “Super shot that.” His lilt was so familiar that your blind grandmother could recognise his voice on the TV (and mine did). He was the last great broadcaster with a BBC-Austra lian accent. Pure class.
2. Australia’s first ‘Shane Warne’
Benaud was the first properly attacking spin bowler in Test cricket, paving the way for Shane Warne, and was not surpassed until Warne’s ascent some 27 years later.
3. He was a cultural icon
He was a cultural icon: During his playing days he had Brylcreemed hair and wore his shirt unbuttoned. Fellow commentator Bill Lawry said last summer: “He would burst through the gate with the shirt open, the Brylcreem and the tan.”
4. He inspired an entire genre of Australian satire.
He inspired an entire genre of Australian satire: “Two hundred and twenty two for two.” The 12th Man was based upon his commentary and, of course, the rest of the Nine
commentary team. Comedian Billy Birmingham produced eight albums over 22 years from 1984 to 2006, with a global following in the UK, South Africa and New Zealand.
5. He was an old-school police reporter
He was an old-school police reporter. Unlike a lot of modern sports broadcasters he rose up through the ranks. Richie started his journalistic career at The Sun in Sydney, as a police roundsman, before moving into sports, and then working his way into radio and TV.
The top twitter reaction to the sad dismissal of Richie Benaud:-
Here is a video of Richie Benaud’s last official commentary in the 2005 ashes series between England and Australia