Vale: Richie Benaud


Veteran sports commentator Richie Benaud, who commentated cricket across six decades, has died aged 84.

He died peacefully in his sleep in a Sydney hospice, and had been receiving treatment for skin cancer since late last year.

Benaud began commentating cricket in 1960 for the BBC, after captaining for Australia, and became one of the key commentators for Kerry Packer’s breakaway World Series Cricket in the 1970s.

His voice and accuracy became synonymous with the sport across subsequent decades. While he did not commentate the last two seasons, he did make an appearance at Nine’s most recent cricket launch late last year.

Nine Chief Executive David Gyngell said, “Richie Benaud’s passing has robbed us not only of a national treasure, but a lovely man.

“Richie earned the profound and lasting respect of everyone across the world of cricket and beyond – first as an outstanding player and captain, then as an incomparable commentator, and through it all as a wonderful human being.

“Richie is a true legend not only to all the people who knew him, but to the many millions who didn’t. Which speaks volumes. He’s been part of the Australian psyche.

“Since way back in 1977 Richie has been a much loved member of the Nine family. More than that, he sat at the head of our table. We shall miss him dearly, but we’ll forever treasure his indelible memory and all the marvellous values for which he stood.

“Cricket is very much the richer for Richie Benaud’s lifelong engagement. And so are we all. Our deepest sympathies go to Daphne and Richie’s family.”

Nine’s Head of Sport, Steve Crawley said, “You didn’t have to know Richie to love him. Everything about him. Best in the business bar none. We will miss him the way you miss loved ones. And at the same time we will thank our lucky stars he came our way at all.”

Richie is still widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the history of cricket.

On the Daily Telegraph James Packer writes, “Dad and I enjoyed a long, long professional and personal journey with Richie Benaud. He was not only for nearly four decades a much-loved figure in the Nine family, but also in the Packer family.

“We never had a cross word. Richie’s word was his bond.

“Like so many others, we treasured Richie’s quiet but steely integrity, his honesty, his modesty, his sense of humour and his towering skill. But above all, what we always knew about Richie was that he was in the vernacular simply a great bloke.

“A lovely, generous, caring human being who was always the very best company. We shall miss him, but treasure the huge part he played in our lives.”

Source: News, Fairfax


  1. Richie Benaud OBE, go well RB you have a lot of friends there up in cricketing Heaven including our own Knight, thoughts to his family and friends on this very, very sad day.

  2. The commentry team has lost another icon with Richie’s passing, he was such a part of my summer for years, cricket is much poorer with his passing…

  3. I am proud to say that I was on the BBC TV crew for the Ashes series in England 1968. Richie was an outstanding commentator for the BBC and I could not believe he was not commentating in Australia, until 9 got the rights and the rest is history.
    A wonderful man and a sad loss to the coverage of cricket in Australia. I know we were all hoping that he would return to commentating, alas it was not to be. Farewell Richie channel 9 ‘s coverage will never be the same.

    • Well said. Vale Mr Richie, Aussie cricket won’t be the same without you. What a wonderful archive of memories you have left behind. I’m sure you will call Heaven’s 11 sooner or later.

  4. Super effort, that. Whenever a team is batting and their score is 2 for 222 I’ll raise my glass to the heavens and say thank you Mr. Benaud for making a great game even better.

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