Cricket legend Richie Benaud dies, aged 84.

Cricket legend Richie Benaud dies, aged 84.

Image source: Getty Images

The Australian sporting community is today mourning the loss of cricketing legend Richie Benaud, who has passed away at the age of 84.

Benaud is considered the most influential Australian cricketer post World War II, and became the first Aussie player to reach 2000 test runs and 200 test wickets.

The leg-spinning all-rounder captained Australia from 1958 until his retirement from test cricket in 1964, in which time Australia never lost a series.

In more recent times, Benaud has been known as “the voice of cricket” for his iconic role in the commentary box.

He announced in November he had been battling skin cancer, and Channel Nine released a statement this morning saying he had passed away peacefully in his sleep overnight.

At the time of his death Benaud had witnesses over 500 test cricket matches, a figure no other player or commentator comes close to.

Tributes have been flowing in from across Australia and the world.

Current Australian test captain Michael Clarke has described Benaud as a gentleman who played the game in the right spirit.

“He was a great player and a great captain, a wonderful leader of men and he continued that off the field,” he told the Nine Network today.

“He loved winning. He helped the Australian team have the attitude where they wanted to win. He played the game the right way.”

Former test captain Kim Hughes says Benaud should be remembered as a giant of the game in Australia.

“Apart from Sir Donald Bradman, Richie Benaud maybe epitomised Australian cricket more than anybody else,” he said.

“He was always measured and controlled and insightful in his comments.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also paid tribute to the cricketing great today, and says he has offered to the Benaud family for a state funeral to be held.

“There would be very few Australians who have not passed a summer in the company of Richie Benaud,” he said, speaking from Brisbane earlier today

“He was the accompaniment of an Australian summer, his voice was even more present than the chirping of the cicadas in our suburbs and towns, and that voice, tragically, is now still.”

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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