Australia Test captain Michael Clarke has paid tribute to the late Richie Benaud, saying the cricketing legend was a “wonderful leader of men”.
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Benaud passed away late Thursday night (UK time) following his battle with skin cancer.
Widely regarded as one of the most influential men in cricket history, Benaud played 64 test matches for Australia between 1952 and 1964 taking 248 wickets and scoring 2201 runs.
He was the first player 2000-run and 200-wicket double at Test level and retired as the leading wicket-taker of all time.
Clarke said Benaud showed great leadership both on and off the field and brought upon a winning mentality to Australian cricket.
“He was a great player and a great captain, a wonderful leader of men and he continued that off the field,” Clarke is quoted as saying by AAP.
“He loved winning. He helped the Australian team have the attitude where they wanted to win. He played the game the right way.”
Benaud will forever be remembered for his work with the microphone, his dulcet tones and quirky one-liners became a mainstay of the Australian summer for decades upon decades.
However, former Australia bowler Brett Lee says current players forget just how good of a player Benaud was.
“I think that’s why he’s such an idol to so many current cricketers because he’s been such a gentlemen on the field, an amazing player,” Lee is quoted as saying by Channel Nine.
“And a lot of current players probably don’t realise how good a player he was.”