Apart from a brief, meaningless stint at the BBC during the World Cup, we haven’t had Richie Benaud on TV in the UK for a good few years, but it was somehow reassuring to know that he was still leaving his trademark massive great pauses during every day of every Test Down Under.
Sadly, at the end of next season, Richie’s retiring from the commentary box. We’re not really prone to emotions, unless ‘getting distracted’ is an emotion, but this is a blow – an inevitable blow, but a blow nonetheless.
We don’t feel it’s overstating things to say that a small part of all of us will die the day Richie steps down. It will be a tiny part of the brain that responds to blue skies, lengthening days and Test cricket. It’s activated by a soft, familiar, Australian voice saying ‘good morning everybody.’