Former Australian captain and legendary broadcaster Richie Benaud, also known as the Voice of Cricket, passed away last night in his sleep. He was 84 and was fighting with skin cancer apart from getting seriously injured during a car accident in 2013.
Richie played 63 Tests for Australia and his team never lost a series in which he was the captain. In his 12-year career, he took 248 wickets at an outstanding average of 27.03 with 16 five-wicket hauls. He was also the first player to score 2000 Test runs and take 200 Test wickets. After retiring in 1964, Benaud pursued a career in journalism and broadcasting, first with the BBC in England and later moved to Australia’s Channel 9, in which he was the mainstay till 2013, when he announced that he was suffering from cancer.
There would hardly be an Australian over the last 40 years who has not listened to Richie Benaud and who was not thrilled to his commentary or warmed to his character and personality. To celebrate his cricketing life and love of the sport, here are 10 brilliant quotes from the man himself:
–> “A boy, just beginning, 25 years of age, baggy green number 408. His father’s best mate, son, brother, fighter, friend, inspiration… Phillip Hughes, forever rest in peace, son.” (His tribute to Phillip Hughes)
–> “The problem with relying on nostalgia for commentary is that people only remember the good things.”
–> “Out on the field you haven’t got anyone whispering in your ear saying all sort of things, you’ve got to do it yourself.”
–> “Captaincy is 90 percent luck and 10 percent skill. But don’t try it without that 10 percent.”
–> “The key thing was to learn the value of economy with words and to never insult the viewer by telling them what they can already see.”
–> “My mantra is: put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it. Otherwise, shut up.”
–> “From our broadcasting box you can’t see any grass at all. It is simply a carpet of humanity.”
–> “Let’s just say that at 74 I’m in the mindset that, having been free-to-air, I want to stay free-to-air.”
–> “I’m coping very well, the doctors are pleased. I’m going along slowly. The cancers need to be treated… I wish I had. You live and learn as you go along. I recommend to everyone they wear protection on their heads.” (On his cancer treatment)
–> “The hallmark of a great captain is the ability to win the toss at the right time.”