Legendary Australian cricketer and commentator Richie Benaud has died this morning in a Sydney hospice.
The 84-year-old, who was the beloved face of Channel 9′s cricket coverage for generations, had been receiving radiation treatment for skin cancer since November.
Benaud had not appeared in the commentary box since a 2013 car crash outside his Coogee home that left him with shoulder and chest injuries and a broken sternum.
Though he is most widely known as a commentator, Benaud was also a great Australian cricketer, leading the Australian team to success in the 1950s. He scored 2201 runs, including three centuries, with an average of 24.45, and took 248 Test scalps at an average of 27.03. He captained Australia to victory in the Ashes in 1958/59 and went on to defend the urn twice.
Benaud first took up a spot behind the microphone with the BBC while he was still captaining Australia in 1960.
Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential figures in the history of the game. “If cricket had ever anointed a pope,” cricket writer Jim Maxwell said upon Benaud’s passing this morning, “it would be Richie Benaud.”
He is survived by his wife, Daphne.