Richie Benaud: Time called on a ‘marvelous’ innings

2015-04-10 17:24

Former Australian cricket captain and legendary commentator Richie Benaud has died at the age of 84. Benaud’s family said the “voice of cricket” passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. Benaud had been fighting skin cancer and had suffered serious injuries during a car accident in late 2013. Tributes from all around the world poured in from Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot to actors Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman.

Even the Big Easy tweeted his condolences. Cricketers all round the world paid tribute to the man whose mantra was: “put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up.”

During his playing career Benaud played 63 Test matches, 28 as captain, and Australia never lost a series under his leadership. The leg-spinning all-rounder was the first cricketer to surpass 2000 test runs and take 200 wickets. Benaud began his trade in media in 1956 as a police reporter while still playing. He gave his first commentary in 1960 for BBC radio, and since then his dry, laconic commentating style captivated fans for decades. Benaud retired in 2013 due to his battle with cancer.

“After Don Bradman, there has been no Australian player more famous than Richie Benaud,” said Cricket Australia.

The Australian government has granted Benaud a state funeral. Benaud is survived by his wife Daphne.

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