TRIBUTES FLOW FOR THE “VOICE OF CRICKET” RICHIE BENAUD:
“I think that’s what set him apart from a lot of people who came before him and probably after him – that he loved playing, he loved competing and he loved commentating and being involved in the game.” – former Australian captain Mark Taylor
“He had a great life. He lived summer to summer, England to Australia, and really celebrated throughout his life doing what he loved doing. He was the best at it.” – Ian Healy
“I certainly remember him as a great friend and a great help to me in life. A thorough gentleman with at times a very wicked sense of humour. Yes, he was a great salesman for the game but … if something controversial happened, he was never frightened to speak out about it.” – former Australian cricket captain Ian Chappell.
“I think there’s one word that sums up Richie Benaud – ‘panache’. He had style, he had class, and you never heard him going on too much about the old days. He was very positive about the youngsters coming through.” – former Australian cricket captain Kim Hughes.
“Dad and I enjoyed a long, long professional and personal journey with Richie Benaud. He was not only for nearly four decades a much-loved figure in the Nine family, but also in the Packer family. Richie’s word was his bond. A lovely, generous, caring human being who was always the very best company.” – James Packer
“As a schoolboy, Richie was someone I admired greatly as a player and as a leader of men on the cricket field. And like all Australians I marvelled at his knowledge and love of the game as a commentator. He was a thorough gentleman.” – Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates.
“His iconic status as a commentator and the Godfather of Australian cricket, it’s just unparalleled, so he will be very, very sadly missed. When Prince Philip was awarded a knighthood there was an outcry … if the prime minister had awarded that knighthood to Richie Benaud I think it would have been seen as a very fitting tribute.” – former ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed.
“He had enormous respect because he was a class act. He was a champion player himself. He was a very skillful journalist. He was an unapologetic advocate of the different forms of the game without in any way denigrating the traditional game.” – former prime minister John Howard.
“As a cricketer, commentator & as a person, you were the best there’s ever been & to top it off, an absolute gentleman. For me it was an honour & a privilege to call you a close friend & mentor. We had so many wonderful times together, talking cricket & in particular, our love & passion of leg spin bowling.
“Your tips & advice along the journey meant so much! Richie, you were loved by everyone, not just the cricket family. You were the godfather of cricket & you will be missed by all… R.I.P my friend #BowledRichie,” – former Australian cricketer Shane Warne pens an online letter to his friend and mentor.
* Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke: “What a man. Extremely sad day. You were a lot more then just a cricketer Richie. RIP”
* Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee: “Very sad to hear the news today of the passing of Richie Benaud. What a legend of a cricketer and broadcaster for @Channel9 @WWOS9 #bestever”
* Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath: “Very sad news about Ritchie Benaud. A legend of Australian cricket & the commentary box. We’ve lost a true Aussie icon ?? RIP Richie”
* Former Australian cricketer Nathan Bracken: “Cricket has lost a legend of the game. On and off the field. Thoughts and wishes with the Benaud family. #voiceofcricket #RIP”
* Australian cricketer Peter Siddle: “Growing up the summer of cricket had only one voice. Richie RIP, you will be missed mate #Legend #RIPRichie #VoiceOfTheGame”
* Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann: “Our thoughts are with the Benaud family at this time, RIP one of the games all time greats! He will be missed by the whole cricketing world.”
* England cricketing great Geoffrey Boycott: “Farewell Richie Benaud. Wonderful cricketer, great captain, a master craftsman commentator & top man. Will always be remembered and admired.”
* Prime Minister Tony Abbott: “A sad day for Australia. We have lost a cricketing champion and Australian icon. What an innings. RIP Richie Benaud”
* Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten: “Australia has lost a legend of cricket & the voice of our summers – sad day for our country. Farewell & rest in peace Richie Benaud.”
* Former Socceroos player Harry Kewell: “A sad day in cricket. I will sadly miss listening to the legend #richiebenaud’s commentary. His voice IS cricket #RIPRichieBenaud #legend”
* Australian cyclist Anna Meares “Rest In Peace Richie Benaud – What a marvellous innings you had!”
* NRL chief executive Dave Smith: “Sad to hear of the passing of Richie Benaud, a true legend in every respect. He will be missed. Condolences from the rugby league community”
* NRL star Cameron Smith: “Farewell to Richie Benaud, a cricket legend, both on and off the pitch. The voice of many Aussie childhood summers. Thanks for the memories”
* British newsman Piers Morgan: “RIP Richie Benaud. The greatest cricket commentator of them all & a wonderful man.”