Australia v West Indies Tests
Benaud Medal minted for West Indies series
A new medal has been struck to honour the great Australian player and commentator for the player of the series
Andrew Ramsey at the SCG
7 January 2016, 04:03 PM AEST
Adam Voges has crowned a triumphant first home summer as a Test cricketer by being awarded the inaugural Richie Benaud Medal as Player of the Series in the three-Test campaign against the West Indies.
The Medal, which will become a perpetual honour presented at the end of every Frank Worrell Trophy Series between the long-time cricket rivals, was presented by Benaud's widow Daphne at the conclusion of today's rain-ruined third Test at the SCG.
As the leading runs scorer in the series that Australia leads 2-0, with a remarkable 375 runs from two innings, neither of which saw him dismissed, Voges is a worthy recipient at age 36.
That included a top score for the series of 269no in the first Test of the series in Hobart.
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And the presentation carried even greater significance given it was made at Benaud's former home ground.
The decision to introduce the Medal honours the enduring contribution that Benaud made to cricket relations between Australia and the West Indies, most notably in the memorable series played in Australia in 1960-61.
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That series, which began with an historic tied Test in Brisbane and culminated with crowds lining the streets of Melbourne in a public farewell to the West Indies team captained by the charismatic Worrell, is widely recognised for reviving cricket after its moribund post-war days of the 1950s.
The inauguration of the Medal has been welcomed by Benaud's family in memory of the revered former all-rounder, broadcaster and writer who died last year aged 84.
Benaud's family said it was delighted that he would continue to be recognised for his prominent role in cricket.
"Australia's relationship with the West Indies and his personal friendship with Frank Worrell meant so much to Richie," Daphne Benaud said.
"This is a wonderful honour and we are delighted that his name will forever be linked to series played between the two teams."
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Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said it was fitting that the inaugural Benaud Medal would be presented at the SCG where the former Australia and New South Wales captain played so much of his cricket.
"The Sydney Cricket Ground was Richie's favourite stage, where he performed many fine feats for New South Wales and Australia," Sutherland said.
"Richie made an enormous contribution to cricket across almost 70 years and we are delighted that this will continue to be recognised."
As the third Test ended in an aimless draw this afternoon after almost three days were lost to rain, Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Cricket Board Michael Muirhead praised Benaud for his contribution to the game for half a century.
"The WICB fully supports the initiative and gives full recognition to the impact Richie Benaud had on and off the field for Australia. In his memory we support CA's efforts to use his legacy to inspire the cricketing world," Muirhead said.
"The rivalry which existed back then and what we hope to return between Australia and the West Indies will signify the contribution Richie made."