Australians are currently mourning the loss of one of their greatest cricket stars who passed away peacefully in his sleep over night. Benaud has been praised as having a “wonderful reputation” and for having an “idiosyncratic style”.
Born on the 6th of October 1930 in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia – Benaud was selected to play cricket for the New South Wales Colts during which time he made quite a name for himself when scoring 47 not out and took 3/37 in an innings against Queensland. Praised for being an all-rounder, Benaud toured overseas and upon his return during 1953-1954 he made nine consecutive titles and later went on to be Captain of the Australian Cricket Team.
Renowned for his ability to get more bounce on the balls, as well as having a well-disguised googly and topspin, Benaud was highly influential in the lives of today’s greats such as Shane Warne and Ashley Giles. Bill Lawry reflected on the multi-talented icon by saying “Richie Benaud the captain, he was a great leader. He was very much an individual. I don’t think anybody really knows Richie. Very private person but a superb leader and led by example.” Whilst Gideon Haigh a cricket writer said Benaud “showed the same prowess as a commentator as he evidently had as a captain and as a cricketer.”
The cricket world has lost an icon, but his contribution to the game and his effect on cricketers today, will live on and reverberate throughout the sport forever.