Richie Benaud is going to be on British TV this summer. He is going to be working as Channel 5’s analyst during the Ashes.
We’ve heard that Richie’s recent commentating has gone downhill a bit, but this role must surely be perfect for him and it must be perfect for the viewer too. There is no way that Channel 5 could muck this up.
Matthew Hayden will be one of Channel 5’s commentators. To say that it’s questionable whether Matthew Hayden makese any sense at all when he speaks is to talk up his communication skills to an unjustifiable extent.
The man doesn’t have his guff talking rated at 11 out of 10 for nothing, you know.
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.’