Richie Benaud dies: Former Australia captain, journalist and broadcaster's most memorable quotes

From Glenn McGrath's early dismissal to Shane Warne's 'ball of the century', Richie Benaud was there to call the shots

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The Independent Online

The world’s greatest cricket commentator Richie Benaud has died at the age of 84, prompting an outpouring of tributes from famous names both in and out of cricket.

Benaud became renowned for his quick-witted, humorous style of commentary, having captained his country for six years as Test level and established himself as a successful journalist.

Over his 49 year commentary career, Benaud made numerous remarks that have since become folklore in the game, his quip regarding former Test bowler Glenn McGrath’s dismissal for two runs, “just 98 runs short of his century”, proving to be one of the more commonly remembered phrases.

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Richie Benaud dies, aged 84

Here, we remember Benaud’s best lines on all aspects of the game.

On commentating

"What I want most from being a television commentator is to be able to feel that, when I say something, I am talking to friends."

"My mantra is: put your brain into gear and if you can add to what's on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up."

"The key thing was to learn the value of economy with words and to never insult the viewer by telling them what they can already see."

"Out in the field, you haven't got anyone whispering into your ear saying all sorts of things, you've got to do it yourself."

Richie-Benaud5.jpgOn captaincy

"The hallmark of a great captain is the ability to win the toss, at the right time."

"Captaincy is 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill. But don't try it without that 10 per cent."

On batting

"Bruce Reid is not the worst batsman there is at international level but those who are worse would not need to hire the Myer Music Bowl to hold a convention."

"Glenn McGrath dismissed for two, just ninety-eight runs short of his century."

"He's not quite got hold of that one. If he had, it would have gone for nine."

Benaud joins his fellow former Australia players and commentators in support of the McGrath foundation

On bowling

"A bleeding ring finger at the end of every training session was not only normal but essential for my development as a wrist spinner."

"Your wrist must be cocked, but not stiffly cocked."

"You must always look where you want to land it. If I offered you 10,000 dollars to hit a tin can, you'd never take your eyes off it."

Benaud alongside fellow broadcaster and former Australia bowler Shane Warne

On Twenty20 cricket

"If any form of game can pull 20,000 spectators into a game of cricket it's great for the sport. I think it's wonderful."

"As long as the people who run the game have brains and keep three forms of the game I think it will be terrific."

On Shane Warne's 'Ball of the Century'

"Gatting has absolutely no idea what has happened to it. Still doesn't know."

Shane Warne and Mike Gatting during the match that produced the 'ball of the century'

On 1981's 'underarm bowling' scandal

"A disgraceful performance from a captain who got his sums wrong. It should never be permitted to happen again. One of the worst things I have ever seen done on a cricket field."


"The slow-motion replay doesn't show how fast the ball was really travelling."

"A cricket ground is a flat piece of earth with some buildings around it."

"He's usually a good puller - but he couldn't get it up that time."

"Cricket has changed for the better... it's because of what happened then, cricket is so strong now."

Adiitional reporting by PA