SYDNEY: Former Australian captain Richie Benaud, well-known as the “voice of cricket” to fans everywhere the world, has died aged 84, and Channel Nine publicized Friday.
Richie Benaud, one of Australia’s most significant cricketers and much respected commentators, died overnight in his sleep.
He had been struggling skin cancer and writhed serious injury in a car accident in late 2013.
“A sad day for Australia,” tweeted Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“We have lost a cricketing champ and Australian icon. What an innings. RIP Richie Benaud.”
The 63 Test matches veteran was the first player to score 2,000 Test runs and yield 200 Test wickets.
Australia not ever lost a series under the leg-spinning all-rounder’s attacking captaincy which ran for 28 games.
Richie Benaud likewise played a key role in the creation of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket that revolutionised the expert game in the 1970s and went on to anchor Channel Nine cricket exposure for decades.
Honours poured in after around the nation for Richie Benaud, who was born in 1930.
“My vintage, we grew up with that voice,” said present Australian captain Michael Clarke.
“He was a pronounced player and a great captain. A dazzling leader of men and he continuous that off the field,” Clarke told Nine.
“He loved winning. He assisted the Australian team have the confidence where they required to win. He played the game the right way.”
Richie Benaud took 248 Test wickets at an average of 27.03 and had a highest score of 122 in a amazing career that saw him take five wickets 16 times.
“If cricket had ever smoothed a pope it would be Richie Benaud,” said Jim Maxwell, one of Australia’s top commentators.
“He has been the greatest influential, revered and respected person in the game for 50 years.”
Prime Minister Abbott later told ABC radio: “There would barely be an Australian over the last 40 years who has not listened to Richie Benaud and who has not thrilled to his commentary or warmed to his character and personality.
“He was a very active cricketer, a great captain, a great character and great personality.
“He has been a part of the lives of masses of Australians and he will surely be very much missed.”
After retirement in 1964, Richie Benaud moved into commentary, first with the BBC in England.
He was the backbone in Australian cricket television commentary till the past two southern summers, before announcing in November 2014 that he had skin cancer.