Benaud to retire from television commentary

February 18th, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 18 (IANS) Legendary Australian captain and commentator Richie Benaud Wednesday said he will retire from cricket commentary next year, thus ending almost 50 years of his companionship with the microphone.
Benaud began his first-class career for New South Wales against Queensland at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in January 1949 as an 18-year-old and by 1956 had taken up a job with the News of the World newspaper in London, first as a police reporter and later as a sports writer.

A presenter training course with the BBC opened up a position as a radio commentator for Benaud in 1960, which paved the way for a long and illustrious TV career.

Since 1964, after his retirement from cricket, he became a fixture in the lounge rooms of Australia, where his beige jacket and catchphrases such as “marvellous shot that” made him an instantly recognisable face and voice on Channel Nine’s cricket broadcasts.

“I’ll be doing Australian cricket next year, 2010, but I won’t do any television at all, anywhere else now and when I finish next year, then I’ll be doing other things,” Benaud, 78, told a local commercial radio.

“That’ll be no more television commentary.”

Benaud was also a regular on British TV screens, until he retired at the end of the 2005 Ashes series in England when free-to-air Channel Four lost the rights to the cricket.

His commentary role has faded in recent years, but he has held onto his position as the elder statesman of the commentary team.

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