Richie Benaud joined the broadcasting world in 1964 © Getty Images
Richie Benaud joined the broadcasting world in 1964 © Getty Images

Australian cricket legend Richie Benaud passed away at a ripe-old of 84 while battling skin cancer at a hospital in Sydney on Friday. Amit Banerjee takes a look at some of the most memorable quotes by the legendary cricketer-turned-commentator.

Cricketers often take to the profession or art, depending on the person’s perception of the medium, of commentary after a successful career in the sport. It is not always however, that a person’s achievements with the microphone outshine his/her achievements with the bat and the ball. There are however, a few exceptions in this regard. Richie Benaud was one such case.

The former Australia captain, who was the first player to score 2,000 runs and take 200 wickets, went on to become a commentator with media organizations such as BBC, and later Nine Network, in a career that spanned nearly five decades, which earned him the honour of being referred to as the “Voice of Cricket”. He announced his battle against skin cancer in November last year, which came as a shock to the cricket fraternity.

As with all legendary commentators, Benaud had his special set of one-liners and remarks, many of which went on to become iconic in status. Following are five of the most memorable ones:

1. On the Underarm incident, Australia vs New Zealand, MCG 1981: Visitors New Zealand needed six runs to tie off the last ball of the third of the best-of-five finals at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Australian skipper Greg Chappell instructed his younger brother Trevor to bowl an underarm delivery. Though it was perfectly legal for him to bowl the delivery, it was seen as violating the spirit of the game.

“I think it was a disgraceful performance by a captain who got his sums wrong today, and I think it should never be permitted to happen again,” Benaud was quoted as saying in a program on Channel Nine Sports.

2. Shane Warne’s ball of the century, Australia vs England, 2005: “Gatting has absolutely no idea what has happened to it. Still doesn’t know,” said Benaud after Mike Gatting was spectacularly dismissed off a delivery that spun all the way to the off-stump after being pitched outside leg.

Gatting’s wicket proved to be a major one for Australia as England collapsed to a total of 210 thereafter, with the visiting Australian team winning the opening Test by 179 runs.

3. Andrew Symonds tackles a streaker, Australia vs India, 2008: The second final of the Commonwealth Bank Series is remembered for Andrew Symonds’ epic tackle of a streaker during the Australian innings, aside from India’s nine-run win and a memorable series victory of course.

“Well that streaker could have done some injury to Andrew Symonds because he seemed to run straight at him, and all of a sudden, he was on his back,” was Benaud’s comment on the comic moment.

4. On the art of captaincy: “Captaincy is 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill. But don’t try it without that 10 per cent,” is one of Benaud’s most well-remembered quotes. Benaud was one of the greatest captains for Australia, winning 12, drawing 11, losing a mere four and tying a Test against  in the 28 Tests that he led his side in, not losing a single series in the effort.

5. On Glenn McGrath’s dismissal on two: “And Glenn McGrath dismissed for two, just ninety-eight runs short of his century,” Benaud once observed in a rather hilarious, but factually correct manner.

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)