Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud was one of the most iconic commentators the game of cricket has ever seenReuters

One of the most recognised voices in cricket and a legendary player in his own right, Richie Benaud passed away in Sydney on Friday.

Benaud's commentary was as synonymous with Australian cricket as Don Bradman or the Boxing Day Test match, and his passing at the age of 84 means not only has the world of cricket lost one of the best commentators/broadcasters of all-time but a tremendously good man as well.

The Australian had been battling skin cancer, while he was also involved in a bad car accident in 2013.

Benaud had spoken about suffering the dreaded disease owing to not playing with a cap in his youth.

"When I was a kid we never ever wore a cap ... because Keith Miller never wore a cap," Benaud had said. "We followed various people and 'Nugget' Miller never wore a cap on his head, so I didn't. I wish I had."

Benaud played 63 Test matches for Australia, taking 248 wickets, and he was a tremendous captain on the field as well, having never lost a series while at the helm.

"Our country has lost a national treasure," said Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards. "After Don Bradman, there has been no Australian player more famous or more influential than Richie Benaud.

"Richie stood at the top of the game throughout his rich life, first as a record-breaking leg-spinner and captain, and then as cricket's most famous broadcaster who became the iconic voice of our summer

"He was an important influence in the formation of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket in 1977, a climactic event at the time but one which has left a lasting, positive influence on the game.

"Away from the camera he was a leader, mentor and positive influence for an extraordinary number of cricketers. And despite his role as the treasured grandfather of the game, he remained deeply in touch with modern developments, embracing Twenty20 when others of older eras shunned it.

"His passing today marks a profound loss to our nation. Australian cricket and the game's legions of fans extend deepest sympathies to Richie's wife Daphne, brother John and the entire Benaud family at this sad time."

The legendary Shane Warne and fellow leg-spinner led the tributes. "I've known you and Daphne for close to 30 years and to everyone you were a legend on all levels and rightly so too," Warne was quoted as saying by cricket Australia's official website. "As a cricketer, commentator and as a person, you were the best there's ever been and to top it off, an absolute gentleman.

"For me it was an honour and a privilege to call you a close friend and mentor, we had so many wonderful times together, talking cricket and in particular, our love and passion of leg spin bowling.

"I will cherish our entertaining dinners and all the fun times we shared over a long period of time. I would also like to thank you and Daphne for all your support and time you made for me as a young cricketer and leg spin bowler trying to make his way as an 18 year old, your tips and advice along the journey meant so much."

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