Since this is the inaugural Man of the Year for thegurgler.com, the final nomination for 2014 could also be a nomination for ALL time. This Australian legend has been a part of 3 generations of avid sports fans. As both a player, and a commentator he is a household name in every cricket playing nation. Most recently he has announced his battle with cancer, but is still making himself available for the upcoming Test Series versus India. Of course there is no other person I could be talking about, than Richie Benaud.
We missed Richie’s commentary during the Ashes series at the start of the year, but he had crashed his beloved Sunbeam Alpine just prior to the commencement of the series which resulted in a cracked sternum. His dulcet tones were sorely missed. In which I mean we had to listen to Slats more. Fucking Slats.
He recovered well during 2014, as best as an 83 yo can. Then adding insult to injury he announced in November that he was battling skin cancer. Years of being out in the middle with no hat or sunscreen has taken its toll. In typical Benaud fashion, the guile and steel in which he faces these challenges, you know we will see him on the other side. He already has interrupted his recovery regime by lending his voice and support in the recent memorial for Phillip Hughes. Following that he said he will be fit for Ch 9 duty for the Sydney test.
There was even talk about setting up a home studio at his villa in Coogee to commentate live with the commentary box at the ground. Richie thought this was a bridge too far, saying that he would rather be at the top of his game for the Sydney test, than not be at 100% for the whole series. Classic Benaud.
We award this nomination to Richie because he is the renaissance man of cricket. In 2014 and every other year…