Plan to honour Richie Benaud

30 Apr, 2015 02:00 AM
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The Parramatta City Council is preparing a report on the possibility of opening a museum dedicated to cricketer and commentator Richie Benaud.
He will go down in history and he's one of us – raised in Parramatta
The Parramatta City Council is preparing a report on the possibility of opening a museum dedicated to cricketer and commentator Richie Benaud.

AFTER cricket legend Richie Benaud died, a handwritten tribute left at the North Parramatta oval named after the all-rounder read: "Thanks for the marvellous memories."

Such memories could soon be enshrined in a Richie Benaud Museum proposed for the city where the sporting icon first honed his batting and bowling skills.

The Parramatta City Council is considering opening a museum, similar to the famed Bradman Museum and International Hall of Cricket Fame in Bowral, to honour Benaud, who died this month.

Local councillors unanimously backed the idea at Monday night's council meeting. A preliminary report exploring the idea is due to be completed in May.

Councillor Bob Dwyer, who moved the motion, said the museum would become a great tourist attraction, drawing cricket fans from around the world.

"Richie Benaud is, probably outside of Sir Donald Bradman, the most famous Australian cricketer in the world," he said.

"He will go down in history and he's one of us – raised in Parramatta. It's only normal we should, as a city, take the opportunity to try and honour him in this way."

Cr Dwyer is calling for the Richie Benaud Oval, named in 1961, to be upgraded so it can host first-grade cricket matches and the museum.

There have also been suggestions that the museum could be housed in the Powerhouse Museum, which the state government has promised to relocate to Parramatta.

Benaud has long been claimed as one of Parramatta's great sons. He was known to describe himself as a "Parramatta boy".

He captained Parramatta High School's cricket team and made his first-grade debut with the Cumberland District Cricket Club at age 16.

Benaud's modest childhood home in North Parramatta was demolished in 2011 after a failed campaign for heritage recognition and to turn the house into a cricket museum.

The Parramatta District Cricket Club and Cricket NSW both offered in principle support for the museum.

They said they would review any ?requests for a financial contribution.

Cricket Australia said it was also exploring several ways to honour Benaud's legacy.

"The museum concept certainly sounds interesting and could be a fitting way to celebrate Richie's remarkable life. We would obviously like to know more about the proposal in order to consider it further," a CA spokesman said.

SMH
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READER COMMENTS

Ted O'Brien.
30/04/2015 6:49:46 AM

We had no nighttime radio reception in my youth, but I still remember when visiting an aunt in Sydney, Alan Davidson hit David Allen for two sixes and two fours in one over, while Graham McKenzie scored thirty something in a last wicket stand of from memory close on a hundred which sent me to bed believing Benaud could bowl the Poms out. Davidson got from memory 77. I got up in the morning to the news that Benaud took 6/70 and Australia won the test. He was a good cricketer and a very good captain.

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