Bumble's Blog: Richie Benaud was 'a gentleman, aggressive captain and unique broadcaster'
Last Updated: 10/04/15 8:20pm
David Lloyd reflects on the many reasons why Richie Benaud will be remembered affectionately around the world...
There will never be another Richie Benaud - it's as simple as that.
My reaction, like everyone else, was one of great sadness when I heard the news because he was a lovely, lovely fella and a gentleman.
Whenever you were around the commentary box at a cricket match and Richie was about, all was well; he was very fine at what he did as a commentator but we shouldn't forget Richie the cricketer.
I've been looking at all of the grainy, black and white clips of him bowling and he's got a lovely, rhythmical action; the art of leg-spin has been handed down in Australia from Clarrie Grimmett, to Bill O'Reilly, to Richie Benaud, to the great Shane Warne.
Richie was a custodian for a time and when he became captain of Australia, he was what I would call a really aggressive captain. He was also a handy batsman at number eight and would take the bouncer on when he came in to bat; he wasn't a sticker, he was quite flamboyant.
He went on to spend 50 years in broadcasting, a field where so many come and go. He is the man who perfected 'less is more' and he made it sound easy.
There would be periods when we're watching at home and nothing is said because he doesn't need to say anything. In this day and age, there are some broadcasters who want incessant chat; that's absolutely wrong.
A good commentator knows the time to come in, reflect, come out - and Richie was brilliant at it. He made it sound easy and we all revered the man.
I remember when he was in his absolute pomp on Channel Nine with Tony Grieg, Ian Chappell and Bill Lawry because they made it absolutely sing and you were thrilled just to be a part of it.
Everybody has got their own style but they, in particular Richie and Bill, were in love with the game of cricket and wanted to enthuse that into your own front room.
These days, wherever we are in the world, there are so many commentators we mix with but when you go into that commentary box, I guarantee everybody wants to be Richie and everybody will put the Richie voice on.
You can be in the West Indies, South Africa or wherever but it's always the same!
I only did one stint with Richie, on Channel Nine; it was when there were three commentators in a line.
The boys at Channel Nine like Michael Slater and Mark Taylor will talk about the time when on two occasions on one day Richie didn’t even get off the mark! He never said a word for his half-hour stint - I think that's great broadcasting.
It was him showing 'these other two are going fine, I'll leave them to it'.
He was an amiable man and wonderful man outside of the commentary box too.
He had to be smartly dressed - I think that was his trademark - and on fancy dress days at cricket, you'd see a dozen punters come as Richie, which was fantastic.
He loved his horse-racing and one of his great friends was Jack Bannister, the former Warwickshire player, who is also a wonderful broadcaster.
Richie always had time for you and he had a wicked sense of humour too - he liked to tell you a story. That's why around the world everybody feels so affectionately about him and why he’ll be so badly missed.