Vale Richie Benaud

10 Apr 2015

I (200)

The ACA is very saddened to hear of the passing of ACA life member, heralded past player and legendary cricket commentator, Richie Benaud.

Richie was the face and voice of Australian cricket for decades. He represented Australia 63 times, collecting 248 wickets at an average of 27.03. Richie also proved to be a handy middle-order batsman, posting three centuries over his 12-year Test journey. His skill as a player and his leadership qualities were rewarded when he was handed the Test captaincy in 1958 - a position he held until his retirement in 1964.

His introduction to Test captaincy couldn't have gone better, claiming 7/112 in the opening 1958/59 Gabba Test against a highly regarded England outfit, before leading his side to a 4-0 Ashes triumph, in a series where he contributed 31 wickets at 18.83 and 132 runs at 26.4.

Richie was also a prolific contributor for New South Wales, having chalked-up 259 appearances in his Baggy Blue. At first-class level, his 945 wickets and 11719 runs were testament to the skill, dedication and persistence of a true leader.

ACA President Greg Dyer said: "We've lost a giant figure from our game - someone whose impact on cricket will last as long as the wonderful memories we have of his great on-field deeds and insightful words.

"Richie Benaud will be remembered with great love and affection, not just by the cricket community, but the Australian community as a whole, as the embodiment of everything we celebrate about our great game."

Richie was also a firm believer in player rights, having been hand-picked by Kerry Packer to help form World Series Cricket in 1977. He became one of the most respected and influential media personalities in world cricket.

ACA CEO Alistair said: "On behalf of the members, Executive and staff of the Australian Cricketers' Association, I extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Richie's family, particularly Daphne, his friends and former team mates.

"Richie was an incredible leader and servant to our game and he will be greatly missed. He was more than a cricket player and commentator. He not only respected and championed the great traditions of the game but was progressive and innovative in terms of his contribution to growing the game and its appeal.

"He was a great visionary. His skill as a communicator meant that he could bring his passion, understanding and perspective to a huge audience. His contribution to Australian cricket is immeasurable."