Richie Benaud

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Template:Infobox Historic Cricketer Richard "Richie" Benaud OBE (born October 6, 1930) is a former Australian cricketer. Since retiring from his playing career he has become the doyen of cricket commentators around the world.

Born in Penrith in New South Wales, Benaud played 63 Test matches for his country between 1952 and 1964 amongst a total of 259 first-class games. One of history's best leg spin bowlers, he took 248 Test wickets at a bowling average of 27.03. In addition, his batting average was 24.45 making him a solid all-rounder. He led his country in 28 Test matches, most memorably in the 1960-61 series against the West Indies - a series that included the famous Tied Test in Brisbane, Queensland.

After his retirement from professional cricket in 1964, Benaud turned to cricket journalism and commentary, dividing his time between England (where he worked for the BBC for many years, prior to joining Channel 4) and Australia (for the Nine Network).

His voice, appearance, and penchant for cream (bone/white/off-white/ivory/beige) jackets are so well-known that a succession of comedy albums by The Twelfth Man parodying Benaud's foibles have been best-sellers in Australia.

He also helped to design a computer based parody of himself available for download off Channel 4's website called Desktop Richie. It was developed by the software company Turtlez Ltd. Having downloaded this, cricket fans would be treated to live test match updates and weather reports from a cartoon version of Benaud with real voice samples such as "Got 'im!" and "That's stumps... and time for a glass of something chilled." On Channel 4's live commentary, Benaud often makes sarcastic comments regarding the advertisement of Desktop Richie.

In 2004, Benaud starred in a series of television advertisements for the Australian Tourism Commission, aimed at promoting Australia as a tourist destination. Benaud's ad featured him in various scenic locations uttering his signature comment, "Marvellous!". He also appeared in Richie Benaud’s Greatest XI a video in which he chooses his own XI. A limited version was shown on the Nine Network after a match between Australia and Pakistan.

With Channel 4's loss of the rights to broadcast live test match cricket to Sky Sports, the 2005 Ashes series was the last that Benaud commentated on in England (though he will continue to spend the Northern Hemisphere summer in England writing, and will continue working for the Nine Network).

Teams

International

Australian state

Career highlights

Tests

Test Debut: vs West Indies, Sydney, 1951-1952
Last Test: vs South Africa, Sydney, 1963-1964

  • Benaud's highest Test batting score of 122 was made against South Africa, Johannesburg, 1957-1958
  • His best Test bowling effort of 7 for 72 was against India, Chennai, 1956-1957
  • He captained Australia in 28 Tests: 12 wins, 12 draws, 4 losses

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