By Shilpika Srivastava
Richie Benaud once said, ‘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.’ Though, he lost the cancer battle, Benaud will always stay alive in the memories of cricket fanatics.
It was in November that he revealed that he was being treated for skin cancer.
Benaud, a pioneering leg-spin bowler, played in 63 tests, 28 as captain, before he called out for retirement in 1964 only to pursue a career in journalism & broadcasting.
First man to accomplish 2,000 runs and 200 wickets in Test matches, Benaud, in his entire cricket career, took 945 wickets in 259 first-class matches and made 11,719 runs, scoring 23 centuries at an average of 36.50.
‘Voice of Cricket’
Benaud, following the 1956 Ashes tour in England, completed a BBC course, which embarked his journey of a 40-year long association with the corporation.
With his first BBC radio commentary in 1960, he soon made an appearance on television. He also became the lead commentator on Australian television’s Channel Nine from 1977.
Benaud’s ground-breaking commentary, light delivery and striking appearance were affectionately parodied and imitated by cricket fans and comedians.
Remembered for one liners
Benaud’s witty, exceptionally sharp and perfectly-timed one-liners said during hundreds of One Day and Test cricket matches certainly make him much more than just a commentator. His few of the most famous one-liners are:
- ‘From our broadcast box you can’t see any grass at all, it is simply a carpet of humanity.’
- ‘The hallmark of a great captain is the ability to win the toss, at the right time.’
- His throw went absolutely nowhere near where it was going.
- That slow motion doesn’t show how fast the ball was traveling.
Indeed, Benaud’s legacy will live on in his quintessential one-liners. RIP Richie Benaud!