Legendary cricket commentator Richie Benaud revealed on Monday that he is battling skin cancer and is undergoing radiation therapy.
The 84-year-old former Australian cricket captain made his illness public at the Nine Network’s launch for its Australian summer cricket coverage. Benaud, an admired figure in Australian cricket, urged people to take precautions to protect themselves from the sun.
“I recommend to everyone they wear protection on their heads,” he said. “Eighty-four-year olds don’t seem to mend as well as they used to.
“When I was a kid, we never ever wore a cap. I wish I had. You live and learn as you go along,” he added.
Benaud attended the Nine Network launch at the Sydney Cricket Ground with the broadcast team, including former cricketers Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell, Mark Nicholas, Brett Lee and Shane Warne.
Benaud, who has worked in the commentary box since retiring from Test cricket in 1964, suffered chest and shoulder injuries during a car crash in Sydney late last year.
It prevented him calling a single ball during the Ashes series against England last southern summer, and he has only just returned to work with the television network.
Famed for his bowl haircut, beige jackets and engaging commentary, Benaud made his broadcasting debut on BBC Radio in 1960, moved across to BBC Television three years later, and became a full-time cricket journalist and commentator when his playing career ended.
He hung up the microphone for British television following the 2005 Ashes series, and has been working for Nine since 1977.