Richie Benaud’s commentary nuggets
Richie Benaud was a brilliant cricketer, but he was even more brilliant behind the microphone. His inimitable style and many of his commentary bits have now gained legendary status.
Richie Benaud was a great all-rounder for Australia – the most rounded leg spinner of his era, a decent lower-order bat, and a mighty fine close-in fielder in his day.
From 63 tests, Benaud scored 2,201 runs with the bat at an average of 24.45. He bagged 248 wickets at an average of 27.03 with the ball – his stronger suit.
The Aussie became the first man to reach 200 test wickets and 2000 runs and was a popular figure in the dressing room. As the skipper, he led the Australian side in 28 tests out of which Australia registered 12 wins, 11 draws, one tie, and four losses.
Way more than a cricketer, he had a huge impact on the game in his non-playing days as the ‘voice of cricket’. His words behind the microphone like “Morning, everyone” at the start of a day’s play or his go-to phrase “simply marvellous” have now gained legendary status.
Richie’s commentary mantra was simple, “Put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up.” And he practised what he preached. When you hear commentators saying that it was a brilliant ball or an amazing shot, the mind often wanders to this line from the great cricketer and commentator.
Here’s a look at some of the best commentary from Richie Benaud:
“Captaincy is 90% luck and 10% skill. But don’t try it without that 10%.”
On Shane Warne’s ‘ball of the century’ that bamboozled Mike Gatting
“What a cricketer, what a match winner, what a ball. Gatting has absolutely no idea what has happened to it. Still doesn’t know. He asked (umpire) Kenny Palmer on the way out. Kenny Palmer just gave him a raised eyebrow and a little nod.”
On a dismissal by a pace bowler
“The slow-motion replay doesn’t show how fast the ball was really travelling.”
On Glenn McGrath’s cheap dismissal
“Glenn McGrath dismissed for two, just 98 runs short of his century.”
On a batsman getting out early
“There were no scores below single figures.”
On an attempted six from Justin Langer
“He’s not quite got hold of that one. If he had, it would have gone for nine.”