Richard Benaud was born on October 6, 1930 at Penrith, New South Wales, Australia. A wily leg spinner and excellent lower middle order batsman, he is considered one of the finest cricket captains ever. Benaud played 63 test matches scoring 2201 runs at an average of 24.45 with a highest score of 122 and captured 248 wickets at 27.03 apiece, with 7-72 as his best bowling figures.
Though impressive, his figures do not really tell the story of Benaud’s service to the game of cricket. As captain, he brought back the Ashes Down Under in 1958-59 and gave the Australian team enough confidence to defend them twice in the Ashes series that followed. A charismatic personality, he could get the best out of his boys and he lost only 4 of the 27 tests in which he led Australia. He has kept the game alive – and kicking - through his role in the Packer Circus, and later through his thoughtful and forthright writing and commentary on Radio and TV.
Benaud made his test debut against the West Indies in 1951-2. A right-handed batsman, he was forceful and could loft the ball at will over the in-fielders. As a leg spinner, he was one of the finest, with the leg-break, the googly, the top-spinner and the flipper as part of his armoury. He was also one of the finest close in fielders seen in cricket.