Benaud to begin 37th summer as Nine 'icon' during Gabba Ashes

Sydney, June 11 (ANI): Australian cricket commentator Richie Benaud has confirmed Channel Nine's expectation that he will continue to be part of the network's cricket coverage into the new rights agreement.

Instead of setting a retirement date, the 82-year-old icon of Australian cricket and television has said that he would commence a 37th summer with Nine in the Ashes Test at Gabba in November, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

According to Benaud, he would like to continue with Nine for whatever time they both agree on, following the announcements of Cricket Australia's historic 590 million-dollar worth broadcast agreements with Channels Nine and Ten.

Stating that he could not imagine cricket without Benaud, Nine chief executive David Gyngell Gyngell said that the channel would never try to superimpose its decisions over Benaud, adding that as a person, he is honoured to be in his presence and always interested in hearing what he has to say.

Meanwhile, Benaud has said that it was too soon to say how Nine's coverage of the cricket might evolve, or how his on-air role might change, adding that he is not even aware of who his co-commentators would be.

According to the report, Benaud has taken a back seat in recent summers and while the former Australian captain and leg spinner is a treasured figure, there is also a desire within the network to regenerate the commentary box.

Former captain Ricky Ponting and retired batsman Michael Hussey, both popular with young viewers, have been mentioned as possible inclusions, the report added. (ANI)

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