An admirable commentator after his retirement, Richard “Richie” Benaud was a former Australian all-rounder. Richie was a right-handed batsman and had also mastered his skills as a leg-spinner bowler.
In 1948-49, Richie made his debut for first class cricket as part of New South Wales team against Queensland. Richie played against West Indies when they were on a tour to Australia in 1951-52. Richie recorded notable figures by scoring a century partnership from just an hour and taking 7 wickets for 96 runs only. This resulted in his debut for test cricket in the same season against West Indies. In the coming years, Richie could not perform up to the mark of excellence in his next few test appearances, yet he was selected for the Ashes tour of England in 1953. He did not let his selectors down by scoring an unbeaten 167 and taking 7 wickets.
By the time he was selected for the series against England in 1954-55, Richie had managed to toil up several centuries thus making an impact on the team selectors for good. Richie managed to pull out mediocre scores from the series, accounting up 309 runs on an average of 15.45 and taking up 27 dismissals. He was promoted as vice-captain for the team in the same year.
The more the selectors trusted on Richie, the more improvement he showed. During the next few seasons, he polished his performance to score more in every test that he took part in. The 1957-58 season Richie on his career highs. He took a total of 106 wickets and scored 817 runs with 4 centuries included. Richie succeeded Ian Craig as the captain of the Australian team in 1958-59. He proved his leadership skills by ending up with 8 wins for Australia and losing only 1 test match.
After retirement from international cricket in 1964, Richie started his second innings as a commentator and journalist. He joined Channel 4 and Nine Network of Australia after having worked for the BBC for several years. Richie has proved himself even off the field by making a successful career as a commentator. After completing 46 gifted years in his second innings, Richie will be retiring from television broadcasting after finishing 2010.
Richie will always be remembered as a savior for the Australian cricket team. His positive thinking ability, daring approach and aggressive form on the field proved to be a refreshing change for the masses.
Has recorded the third fastest century in history, scoring 100 runs in 78 minutes.
Was part of the first ever tied test of cricket history in 1960-61 Frank Worrell Trophy against the West Indies.
Scored career best test score of 122 against South Africa in 1957-58.
Recorded best bowling effort of 7 wickets for 72 runs against India in 1956-57.
Became first player to complete Test double of 200 wickets and 2000runs in 1963.