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General News 'Voice of cricket' Richie Benaud dies aged 84
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Former Australian captain Richie Benaud, known as the "voice of cricket" to fans around the world, has died aged 84, Channel Nine reports 

Former Australian captain Richie Benaud, known as the "voice of cricket" to fans around the world, has died aged 84. Benaud, one of Australia's most influential cricketers, had been fighting skin cancer. He was the first player to score 2,000 Test runs and take 200 Test wickets. Australia never lost a series under the leg-spinning all-rounder's captaincy.

Benaud, considered one of the most influential cricket identities of the past century, had been fighting skin cancer and died overnight in a Sydney hospice. 

David Gyngell, Nine Network chief executive, confirmed the News in statement: "Richie Benauds passing has robbed us not only of a national treasure but a lovely man Richie earned the profound and lasting respect of everyone across the world of cricket and beyond."

The 63 Test match veteran anchored Channel Nine's cricket coverage for decades and played a pivotal role in the formation of World Series Cricket in the 1970s. He became one of the world cricket's most recognized and admired commentators.

Benaud, whose career as a cricketer kicked off in 1952, was born in Penrith outside Sydney. He went on to cut out a memorable Test career for himself not only as a wily leg-spin bowler and middle-order batsman, but also as one of cricket's most successful captains. He finally hung up his boots in 1964.

He took up commentary following his retirement and soon turned into an iconic thanks to his succinct commentary style. It turned out to be fodder for imitators and cricket fans and aspiring commentators from across the world.

Benaud was the mainstay in Australian cricket television commentary until a car accident forced him to halt his commentary duties. He suffered chest and shoulder injuries during a car crash in Sydney late last year. The injuries included two fractured vertebrae and it prevented him calling a single ball during the Ashes series. A much anticipated return to commentary was scuppered when Benaud revealed, in November last year, that he was suffering from skin cancer.

However, Benaud gave his voice to a heart-rending tribute to Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, who died during a match last November, which was screened before Australia's Test series against India last December. 

RIP Richie Benaud


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