Richie Benaud OBE, Elevated to official “Legend of Australian Sport”. An inaugural member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and a national treasure because of his enormous, lifelong contribution to cricket as a player, Test captain and in all forms of media.
Until his passing in 2015 he was second only to Sir Donald Bradman as the most influential and recognisable doyen of the Australian game and equally famous and admired around the world. He forged his reputation as an excellent all-round player -the first to complete the double of 2000 runs and 200 wickets -and enhanced it as a successful and daring captain in 28 matches in which he insisted on aggressive, entertaining play which re-energised the game.
He became an outstanding television commentator, internationally syndicated newspaper columnist and author of many books, which established him as one of the wisest and most authoritative voices in cricket or any other Australian sport.
Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural group in 1985 and Elevated to Legend status in 2018, for his contribution to the sport of cricket. Benaud is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the game’s history.
Regarded as one of Australia’s greatest cricket captains and finest all-rounders, as well as one of its most recognisable personalities, Richie Benaud captained Australia in 28 Tests, and never lost a series.
The finest legspin bowler of his era, Benaud proved himself a match winner on numerous occasions. He made his Sheffield Shield debut at the age of 18, and played his first Test aged 21 in the 1951/52 series against the West Indies. From that time onwards, he steadily developed into one of the legends of the game.
In first class cricket, Benaud scored 11,719 runs (av. 36.50), including 23 centuries, and took 945 wickets (av. 24.73).
He played in 63 Tests, scoring 2201 runs (av. 24.45). This included three centuries and nine half centuries. He also took 248 wickets (av. 27.03) and 65 catches.
Upon being newly appointed captain, Benaud led Australia to regain the Ashes in 1958/59 after they had been lost to England in the preceding three series, and then successfully defended them twice.
His greatest bowling performance came when he took 6/70, giving Australia victory against England and retention of the Ashes at Old Trafford in 1961.
Benaud reigned as Australian captain from 1958 to 1963, and also captained New South Wales 32 times. His state career with NSW spanned 73 matches, 3,749 runs, 266 wickets and 92 catches.
Richie Benaud’s records in the game of cricket speak for themselves. He is one of a rare group of Australian cricketers to have both scored 10,000 runs and taken 500 wickets in first-class cricket. In 1963, he became the first player in the history of the game to achieve the Test match ‘double’ of 2000 runs and 200 wickets.
After retiring as a player in 1964, Benaud went on to become a leading cricket broadcaster and writer, as well as part of the fabric of the game and its changes, from Tests to the turbulent World Series era and beyond.
Honours & Awards
2018 Elevated to Legend status in The Sport Australia Hall of Fame as the 40th official Legend
1985 Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural group
1962 Made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
1962 Named Wisden Cricketer of the Year