When it comes to the greatest commentators of all time, Australian legend Richie Benaud will automatically make it into any of the cricket fan's list. The former Australian Test skipper drew everyone towards him with his charismatic vision and thoughts about the game during his stint as a commentator.
The late Australian was commemorated by the Royal Australian Mint through a special collectable coin released on Thursday just before the start of the third Test match between the Aussies and South Africa at the Adelaide Oval.
The coin features Richie Benaud's portrait surrounded by the scenery of a match, including the famous supporter group which dresses up as the cricket icon each summer- The Richies.
The co-founder of The Richies, Michael Hennessy, said the commemorative coin was a perfect tribute to the legendary Benaud. "He's only the second cricketer to be honoured on a coin after Don Bradman," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"He'll never be replaced, obviously, he's a one-of-a-kind icon of the game," he added. He also went on to say that it was a great gesture for the fact that the future generation will get to know about how much of an impact the former Aussie captain had on the cricket fans. Benaud died at the age of 84 due to skin cancer, in his sleep on 10th April 2015.
He went on to say, "Cricket has changed but the game will move on and at least it's nice to remember him with tributes like this."
The Richies have also asked the Cricket Australia to urge the fans to officially observe the day two of the SCG Test in early January next year as Richie Day. Richie Benaud was often regarded as the "voice of cricket" and many still believe him as the best man to have graced the commentary duties so far.
"The Royal Australian Mint’s concept for a coin depicting Richie’s life was an idea enthusiastically endorsed by the Benaud family. It is a quality product and we are delighted he has been honoured in this way," Benaud's wife, Daphne was quoted as saying by the Cricket Australia website.
The Mint is producing 95,929 coins after adding up the following stats from Benaud’s cricket career.
Runs — 13,920
Wickets — 1193
100s — 26
50s — 70
Balls bowled — 79,589
Catches — 319
Matches — 322
Batting innings — 462
Tests captained for Australia — 28
Total — 95929
The coin was used for the toss in the Test match today and South African captain Faf du Plessis won the flip of the coin and elected to bat.