Richie Benaud honoured with 50 cent coin in Australia

Richie Benaud Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Richie Benaud retired from commentating in England following the 2005 Ashes series

He was called "the voice of cricket" and now legendary commentator Richie Benaud will be the face of a 50 cent coin in Australia.

Tributes poured in for Benaud, a former Australian Test captain, after his death last year aged 84.

The limited-run coin salutes his career on and off the field, and features iconic fan group "The Richies".

It was conceived with the approval of Benaud's widow, Daphne.

Image copyright Royal Australian Mint
Image caption The Royal Australian Mint will make 95,929 coins

The Royal Australian Mint said the number of coins - 95,929 - was inspired by combining nine statistics from Benaud's playing career.

After 63 Tests between 1952 and 1964, Benaud became even better known as a prolific commentator, author and columnist.

He was a fixture of summer, inspiring a fan group who attended games wearing Benaud's trademark cream jacket. They also donned grey wigs and carried fake microphones as a light-hearted show of respect.

Benaud last commentated in England in the 2005 Ashes series, but he worked on in Australia until 2013.

The co-founder of The Richies, Michael Hennessy, said the commemorative coin was a fitting tribute to Benaud.

"He's only the second cricketer to be honoured on a coin after Don Bradman," he told the BBC.

"He'll never be replaced, obviously, he's a one-of-a-kind icon of the game."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Richies want day two of the SCG Test to be named Richie Day

Mr Hennessy said it was an honour to have The Richies featured in the coin's final design.

"So many people grew up listening to Richie, he shaped summer for so many people," he said.

"Cricket has changed but the game will move on and at least it's nice to remember him with tributes like this."

The Richies have petitioned to turn day two of the SCG Test, played in early January, to be officially recognised as Richie Day.

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Media captionRichie Benaud: a legend remembered

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