For those under 60 the career of Richie Benaud the cricketer is remembered via the archives, and very little video footage. The bare stats of being the first player to achieve the 2,000 test runs / 200 test wickets landmark tell one story. His captaincy throughout the greatest series of all time tells another. At 92/6 chasing 233 in Brisbane previous sides would have shut up shop; Benaud was having none of that.
However, it is his subsequent career in broadcasting, lasting half a century, is what he will be remembered for most. It is important to note that he had undertaken a journalism course in the UK while still a player and started it all as a crime reporter.
The other crucial factor that helped form his style is that he alternated his time between Australia and the UK. This assisted him in developing his objectivity; which was to set him above most others.
That was only part of it; what really set him apart was…
His sense of timing.
And the understanding that, when commentating on TV, you do not need to state the obvious.
When the Packer Circus started it needed an aura of respectability. Coloured clothing, night crciekt, and a range of innovations it was a giant leap for a lot of people. This respectability was not going to come from the funder; it needed a person with credibility; and that was Benaud.
He had a sense of the history of the sport, but understood the need for modernisation. He was the link between the past and the future.
In the years that followed the coverage evolved, commentators came and went, but there was always Richie. Comforting, reassuring Richie.
His presence was so significant that it led to the 12th Man parody series that were enormously popular. Welcome to the kitchen Daphne; for the very first time today.
Once he retired in 2013 the dogs took over the house at Channel 9. Being the professional he was he never critiqued those who followed. But you cannot escape the feeling he would have cringed like everyone else at its false mate ship, parochialism and unnecessary noise.
There was something poignant about the timing of his death too. He passed away less than two weeks after Shane Warne repeatedly urged victorious Australian cricketers to get on the large. The ultimate Post Script to where that coverage has headed.
His family has turned down the posturing offer of a State Funeral. That would have been deserved, but would have been at a real risk of being hijacked. The perfect contrast to some other antics this summer.