SYDNEY: Legendary cricket commentator Richie Benaud was in a stable condition in hospital Thursday after driving his vintage car into a brick wall. The former Australia captain, who has worked in the commentary box since retiring from Test cricket in 1964, was driving to his Sydney home on Wednesday when he mounted the curb and hit the wall. The 83-year-old, who is due to commentate on the Ashes series against England for Australia’s Channel Nine starting next month, suffered chest and shoulder injuries. A Nine statement said he was expected to be hospitalised for several days.
“Despite being in some discomfort, the former Australian cricket captain and legendary all-rounder remains in fine spirits and good humour,” it said.
Benaud was driving his vintage pale green 1963 Sunbeam Alpine on his own at the time and was more concerned about his prized car.
“No one else was injured, and I was more worried about the car than myself,” he said in the statement, with pictures showing the front end of the vehicle crushed but the windscreen intact.
His wife Daphne said her husband was shaken after the accident but had soon bounced back.
“Richie’s remarkable. At first I was quite concerned but today he’s looking unbelievably well,” she said.
Police attended the scene but no charges have been laid.
Nine chief executive David Gyngell said Benaud was “a national treasure” and he would return to the commentary box “when he is good and ready”.