SPORTING Oz Cricket

Richie Benaud
Australia Crest

Australian Test cricket captain and unflappable commentator born in Penrith, to the west of Sydney, on 6th October, 1930.

First class cricket debut was in 1948, aged 18, NSW against Queensland in a Sheffield Shield match in Sydney.

First played Test, aged 21, in the 5th match of the 1951-52 series against the West Indies, in Sydney.

In 1956 Richie began a career in journalism with the Sun, beginning as a police roundsman before becoming a sports columnist..

'Benords' was appointed Australian cricket captain in 1958.

This expert legspinner and more than capable batsman was the first Australian cricketer to take 200 wickets and score 2,000 runs in Test cricket history. Over all he scored 2,201 runs at an average of 24.45 and took 248 wickets and 65 catches. As captain of Australia, 1958-61 he never lost a series. He played in 63 Tests, 28 as captain.

Once he hit eleven sixes in an innings in England.

In 1961 Richie was awarded the OBE for services to cricket.

In 1963 he was given his first job as a television commentator, covering an England-West Indies series for the BBC, and retired from playing cricket in 1964.

In 1967 Richie re-married and his new wife was Daphne Surfleet, who had worked for the English cricket writer E W Swanton and had done work for the Beeb. The Benauds spend half of their life out of their Coogee apartment base and the other half of the year in the northern hemisphere. They try to spend a few months every year at a retreat they have near Nice in France. Richie's great-grandfather was a French sea captain who came to Australia in 1840.

Besides commentating obligations in England during their season, Richie heads Channel 9's commentary team, having joined World Series Cricket in 1977.

It would be strange, when turning on the telly to watch the cricket, and not hear the immortal words - "Good morning - welcome around Australia" or to see Richie flogging limited edition this and that.

Richie has written several books including 'Richie Benaud's Way Of Cricket'. 'Anything but.....' an autobiography by Richie Benaud is published by Hodder & Stoughton.


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