By Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
Sporting Legends - Bradman Museum
A young Richie Benaud, Australian Cricketer (1950) by Holman Fairfax Collection, Bradman Museum.Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
One day in the early 1940s, the sports master at Parramatta High School, where Richie Benaud was a student, told an assembly that Richie would not only play Test cricket for Australia, he’d probably be captain. What allowed the boy to fulfil this promise was his prodigious work ethic.
‘Richie earned this success with his sweat,’ wicket keeper Wally Grout would write. ‘He was the most enthusiastic and diligent member of the team, the first to practice and the last to leave.’
Many photographs used in this exhibition are from the Bradman Museum’s Fairfax Collection, including this portrait of a 20 year old Benaud; taken 1950, a few years prior to his Test career commencing. The Bradman Museum's Holman Fairfax Collection contains many rarely seen photographs that provide significant historical content for exhibition and research.
Richie Benaud's First Test Wicket tribute (1952) by Mark Kelly Photography. Bradman Museum Collection and On loan John BenaudBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
Richie played in the Australian Test team between 1952 and 1956.
His journey from being a good to great player began in India and Pakistan in 1956–57 and continued in South Africa a year later, when he took 30 wickets at 21.93 and scored 329 runs at 54.83 with two centuries.
This trophy commemorates Richie Benaud's first Test match and first wicket. He bowled Alf Valentine for a duck in the 5th Test against the West Indies at the SCG, January 1952. In recognition, the Parramatta community (Sydney) presented him with this unique trophy. Generously on loan to Bradman Museum from his brother John Benaud.
Richie Benaud bowling at SCG (1958) by H.Martin. Holman Fairfax Collection, Bradman MuseumBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
After Australian Captain Ian Craig was struck down by hepatitis in 1958, Richie became Australia's 28th Captain. Benaud stunned England in 1958–59 by leading his men to a 4–0 triumph, taking 31 wickets in the process.
Image shows Richie Benaud bowling at the 1958-1959 Ashes series, SCG.
Neil Harvey checks the newspaper watched by teammates Richie Benaud (left), Graham McKenzie, Norm O'Neill (partially obscured), Bill Lawry, and Bob Simpson.
Richie Benaud v West Indies (1960/1961) by News Ltd.Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
He was a central figure as Australian captain in two famous matches: the historic Tied Test with the West Indies in December 1960 and the series-deciding fourth Ashes Test of 1961, when he took 5-12 in 25 balls to win a game most thought was lost.
Image shows Garry Sobers caught by Bob Simpson, bowled by Richie Benaud. Keeper Wally Grout looks on. 1960-1961 Tied Test at 'The Gabba' QLD.
The historic moment
Ian Meckiff is run out, creating the first tie in Test cricket history.
The Frank Worrell trophy was struck at the conclusion of the historic 1960-61 West Indian series. This photo shows Sir Donald Bradman with the two captains at the trophy unveiling. Today, 55 years later, the trophy is still contested between Australia and the West Indies.
Administrator & Test Captain: Don Bradman & Richie Benaud, Brisbane (1962) by Jim Fenwick. Holman Fairfax Collection and Bradman Museum.Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
Richie Benaud never lost a Test series as Captain.
Some called him a ‘lucky’ captain; he explained that successful captaincy was 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill, "but don’t try it without that 10 per cent".
Whilst Sir Donald Bradman was Chairman of Australian Cricket and Richie Benaud the Test Captain of the Australian cricket team, they developed a special lifelong friendship.
Image shows Sir Donald Bradman and Richie Benaud in training discussions at Brisbane, 1962.
Richie Benaud practicing in the nets by Ern McQuillan Collection, Bradman MuseumBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
Richie retired in 1964 with 248 Test wickets, 2201 Test runs and 65 catches from 63 appearances.
He would remain the only male cricketer to complete the 200 wickets/2000 runs/50 catches treble in Tests until West Indies Garry Sobers joined him in 1971.
Best Bowling (Match): 11/105
Highest Score: 122
Richie Benaud, the Commentator (2009) by Philip BrownBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
Remarkably, Richie Benaud's days as a highly influential figure in world cricket had only just begun in 1977.
He transitioned smoothly into sports journalism, becoming arguably cricket’s greatest TV commentator; working for England's BBC and Channel 4, and for the Australian Nine Network's 'Wide World of Sports'.
One of Australia's most recognised and beloved TV figures, his TV commentator career spanned from World Series Cricket in 1977–1979 until his death in April 2015.
Fellow commentator West Indian Tony Cozier and Richie Benaud confer on camera at the conclusion of the day's play at World Series Cricket.
A pause in commentary
Portrait of Richie Benaud by Viv Jenkins. Circa 1985
The Channel Nine, Wide World of Sports Commentary Team
Tony Greig, Mark Taylor, Richie Benaud, Ian Chappell and Bill Lawry. Circa 2010. Photograph: Brendan Read
John Howard and Richie Benaud, at Bradman Museum (2012) by Bradman MuseumBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
Richie Benaud was Patron of the Bradman Foundation from 2002 until his death in 2015. He generously worked behind the scenes to support the Bradman Museum by sharing his deep knowledge of cricket and leading the Museum’s Reference Panel.
He greatly assisted the museum to interpret and develop its gallery themes; guiding the presentation of the significant moments which shaped the game.
"...those who change the game, shape the game" Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud Cream Blazer, Wide World of Sports (2018) by Mark Kelly Photography. Bradman Museum Collection and On loan Mrs Daphne BenaudBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
He was the voice of cricket for over 50 years, and continues on, today.
Richie Benaud's immense contribution to cricket is today honoured with significant pieces displayed at the Bradman Museum. These include a tribute to his first wicket and one of seven of his famous original Commentator's cream blazers -commissioned for 'Wide World of Sports'. His key role in the success of Kerry Packer's revolutionary impact on the game is also highlighted in the World Series Cricket Gallery.
Image of original cream commentator blazer worn by Richue Benaud during his career - as a member of the Network Nine's Wide World of Sports Commentary Team. Housed at Bradman Museum. Generously on loan from Mrs Daphne Benaud.
Author: Geoff Armstrong
Art Direction: Monica Donoso, Bradman Museum.
© Bradman Museum 2019
1952 Trophy: First Test Wicket. John Benaud, on loan. Photograph by Mark Kelly.
Wide World of Sports Jacket: Daphne Benaud, on loan. Photograph by Mark Kelly.
Photograph. Sir Donald Bradman & Richie Benaud 1962. By Jim Fenwick. Bradman Museum Collection. BM 2005.125
Holman Fairfax Collection, Bradman Museum.
Viv Jenkins Collection. BM 2010.451 / BM 2010.666
Herald and Weekly Times. BM 1998.180
Ern McQuillan Collection, Bradman Museum
Richie Benaud :: Commentator Retirement tribute. Wide World of Sports
Richie Benaud :: 2015 Tribute. Wide World of Sports
Archive footage authorised for use by Bradman Museum for non-commercial gain.