Richie Benaud OBE
Sport | Cricket, Media, Hosts/MC's, Motivational
Richie Benaud was an outstanding Test cricket captain and match-winning all-rounder who went on to establish himself as one of the game’s most respected broadcasters, journalists and authors.
He captained Australia in 28 of his 63 Tests, donning the Baggy Green for the first time in 1952 against the West Indies and the last time against South Africa in 1964.
A right-hand batsman and leg spinner, his Test career yielded 2,201 runs at 24.45 and 248 wickets at 27.03. In 1963, he became the first player to achieve the 2,000 runs and 200 wickets double in Test cricket.
During a first-class career which started with his New South Wales debut in 1948-49, Richie Benaud played 259 matches, scoring 11,719 runs at 36.50 and taking 945 wickets at 24.73. A superb gully fieldsman, he also took 254 catches in first-class cricket.
Named one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year in 1962, and awarded the OBE the same year, Richie Benaud made nine overseas tours with Australian teams, the first to England as a member of Lindsay Hassett’s 1953 tourists and the last to England in 1961 as captain. He began his Test captaincy career against Peter May’s Englishmen in Australia in 1958-59, leading Australia to a 4-0 series triumph and taking 31 wickets at 22.06 in the process.
Richie Benaud’s career in journalism began with the Sydney Sun in 1956. He launched his broadcasting career with BBC Radio in 1960 and three years later he joined the BBC Television commentary team for the England-West Indies series in the United Kingdom. His career as a cricket commentator in the UK, both with the BBC and Channel Four, continued until 2005. In Australia, he has been the legendary ‘captain’ of the Nine Network’s cricket commentary team since 1977, during which time its coverage has achieved glowing acclaim.