• News round-up

    Richie Benaud, the former Australia captain, journalist and legendary broadcaster, has died in Sydney aged 84.

    His family announced that he had died peacefully in his sleep.

    Benaud had fought a long battle with skin cancer and had also suffered from the after-effects of a serious car accident near his Coogee home in late 2013, reports ESPNCricinfo.

    A legspinner and aggressive batsman, Benaud’s 248 wickets made him Australia’s leading Test bowler of all time when he retired in 1964, having also never lost a series in which he was captain.

    He was the first cricketer to achieve the Test double of 2000 runs and 200 wickets and, as an all-rounder, ranks as one of the greatest.

    He also played a stellar role in the formation of World Series Cricket in 1977, which changed the face of international cricket, and, as a television commentator, became “the voice of cricket”.

    His captaincy achievements included the return of the Ashes to Australia after a gap of seven years in 1958-59, a key role in the epic 1960-61 home series against the West Indies that featured the first tied Test in Brisbane, and the conjuring of a miraculous victory over England at Manchester in 1961.


    Former Proteas opening batsman Alviro Petersen has announced via Twitter that he will return to the Highveld Lions for the next two domestic seasons.

    Petersen announced his retirement from international cricket towards the end of last year and plays county cricket for Lancashire in England.

    The Lions won the recently concluded Sunfoil Series after a great season, but have lost the services of the highly experienced Neil McKenzie who has retired from first-class cricket.


    Kevin Pietersen believes his former Test captain Michael Vaughan is best-placed to oversee a revival of England’s fortunes.

    The England and Wales Cricket Board announced the new position of director of cricket on Wednesday as Paul Downton lost his job as their managing director of cricket, with his current post also scrapped.

    Vaughan was immediately linked to the role, with new ECB chief executive Tom Harrison eager to have Downton’s successor concentrate solely on cricket performance rather than administration.

    Downton’s 15 months in charge came to be defined by his controversial decision to end the international career of star batsman Pietersen, England’s leading run-scorer in all international formats, following the 2013/14 Ashes whitewash loss in Australia.

    Vaughan, the captain of the 2005 England Ashes-winning side in which Pietersen played a key role, has been installed as the early favourite to succeed Downton.

    Pietersen, who didn’t speak to reporters at county side Surrey’s media day on Thursday, told BreatheSport: ‘He (Vaughan) is close enough to the game to make changes which need to happen for the good of English cricket.

    ‘The way he captained shows he’ll change the brand of cricket currently being played, which we need.’  – AFP