Richie Benaud prepares for final delivery

February 18, 2009

Richie Benaud, the doyen of cricket commentary, will retire from television next year.

The 78-year-old former Australia captain told Sydney radio he was quitting after his current contract ends in 12 months. “I’ll be doing Australian cricket next year, 2010, but I don’t do any television at all anywhere else now and when I finish next year, then I’ll be doing other things,” he said.

I grew up listening to Benaud’s commentary on Test cricket and always appreciated the way he could deliver such well informed analysis in such a modest and relaxed style.

We’ll have a proper appreciation of Benaud on the blog tomorrow but for now I’ll leave you with my favourite Benaudism*:

“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.”

Goodnight, Richie.

* Apart from “Morning everyone,” obviously.

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My favourite Benaud moment was his last few minutes on air during the 2005 Ashes at the Oval. He was just on his own, there was no fuss made over him, and he although he knew his voice would never again be heard by the British public (on our tvs anyway) he didn’t start cramming in words. What a man.
His pronunciation of ‘Pakistan’ has also been a source of amusement for me over the years.

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