Doug Walters claimed that Richie Benaud (above) was the first person to greet him when he walked off the Gabba © Getty Images
Doug Walters claimed that Richie Benaud (above) was the first person to greet him when he walked off the Gabba © Getty Images

Sydney: Australian cricket icon and larrikin Doug Walters raised a glass as a tribute to former leg-spinner and commentating doyen Richie Benaud, who was like a second father to the ex-batsman.

Walters’ father passed away soon after his son hit headlines and then along came Benaud.

Walters said that Benaud, who passed away on Friday aged 84 after battling skin cancer, was like a father to him back then and right through the years, News.com.au reported.

Walters raised a glass or two in Benaud’s honour on Friday as a tribute to the man who shaped his career from the point he walked off the Gabba in 1965 after scoring 155 in a stunning Test debut against England.

Walters claimed that Benaud was the first person to greet him when he walked off the Gabba, adding that he shook his hand and said before he signs anything talk to him. He said that it was probably the best advice he ever had.’

Benaud, then working as a pressman, helped Walters sign a bat contract worth 1,000 pounds a year over three years at Slazenger. At that stage it was a huge amount of money and it crystallised Walters’ opinion that anything Benaud said to him in the future was worth listening to.

The former batsman revealed that his dad died soon after he went to Sydney from the country and he was only about 19 at the time, adding that Benaud became a father to him. He revealed that when he spoke to the legendary commentator he found that he did not often give straight advice but one just sort of got it by listening to him.

Walters claimed that Benaud was that sort of person, adding that he had an aura like Sir Don Bradman, insisting that he doesn’t believe that late broadcaster invented the wheel but he put the spokes in it and the rubber tyres on it.