Richie Benaud recovering in hospital after Sydney car crash
The 83-year-old broke his sternum in accident, and may now miss commentating on the Ashes
LEGENDARY cricket commentator Richie Benaud is recovering in hospital after a car crash in Sydney, but there are now doubts over his involvement in the upcoming Ashes series.
The 83-year-old former Australian captain and broadcaster was driving home to the suburb of Coogee on Wednesday morning after playing golf when his car mounted a verge and hit a brick wall.
He reportedly suffered chest and shoulder injuries, including a broken sternum, in the accident. He is in a stable condition but is expected to remain in hospital for a few days. Police attended the incident and said there would be no charges.
Benaud's employer, Australian broadcaster Channel Nine, said the commentator was in "some discomfort... [but] remains in fine spirits and good humour."
That was borne out by a typically understated comment from Benaud in the Channel Nine statement. "No one else was injured, and I was more worried about the car than myself," he said, referring the vintage 1963 Sunbeam Alpine that he had been driving.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) October 24, 2013
Benaud's wife, Daphne, told the Sydney Morning Herald that her husband was in better spirits on Thursday. "Richie's remarkable," she told the paper. "At first I was quite concerned but today he's looking unbelievably well."
Despite his recovery there are fears that the forthcoming Ashes series between England and Australia may be without one of its off-field stars. Benaud has cut down on his commentary duties in recent years and only covers games in Australia. This Ashes series was likely to be his last.
"Benaud is a popular figure both in Australia and England, and has been involved in broadcasting for more than 45 years," says The Guardian. "He was due to commentate on Nine for the Ashes, which starts on 21 November, and it is still unclear if he will be fit to return to work.
However, Nine Entertainment chief David Gyngell was upbeat about his chances of making an appearance in the commentary box. He described Benaud as a "national treasure" and said he would return to broadcasting "when he is good and ready". ·