The cricketing world is today mourning the passing of one of its older statesmen, Richie Benaud. Tributes from former players and commentators are flooding in after Benaud, 84, finally lost his battle against skin cancer. He leaves behind Daphne, wife of 48 years, and two children from his first marriage.

He was a successful Australian cricketer, the first in Test history to do the double of taking 200 Test wickets and scoring more than 2,000 runs. In all he played 63 times for his country, captaining Australia on 28 occasions. He held an impressive record as a captain, never losing a series, winning five and drawing two, including two Ashes series wins.

He was awarded the OBE for services to Cricket in 1961

Richie Benaud's victories go beyond cricket and he managed to achieve something rare - uniting both sides of the Ashes divide. He is regarded as fondly in England as he is back in Australia thanks to a broadcasting career spanning five decades. Indeed during the last years of his playing career he decided to take a BBC course in broadcast journalism, a profession he entered on his retirement from cricket in 1964.

Benaud's inimitable laconic style then became a fixture on screens on both sides of the world. In Britain, he had a television career for the BBC (and later Channel 4) and in Australia, he was a cricket commentator for Channel Nine.

His brevity of expression and witty riposte earned him plaudits the world over, and made him the subject of several impressionists, including Rory Bremner.

His skill in understatement was demonstrated when describing Shane Warne's "magic ball" that dismissed Mike Gatting. Instead of straying into hyperbole and extoling the virtue of leg spin bowling, Benaud simply came out with, "He's got him."

His last Ashes broadcast was in 2005 but he was still working for Channel Nine up to 2013.

He maintained his dignity and despite his obvious affinity with Australia, he never allowed his allegiance to spread into the commentary box. Such was his impact to British sport broadcasting that he was taken to the heart of the British public who called him one of our own. Jonathan Agnew, Benaud's former BBC colleague, called him "a one-off."

Benaud's media career was to be cut short in 2013 following a car accident that injured his shoulder and sternum.

By then he had become seriously ill with cancer but despite his battle with illness, his final public broadcast was in memory of the death of young batsman, Philip Hughes, to whom he left a tribute: "A boy, just beginning, … Philip Hughes, rest in peace, son."

His death was announced by Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who referred to him as "an icon … the accompaniment of an Australian summer … the greatest loss to cricket since the loss of Don Bradman." In recognition of Benaud's success as a sportsman and a person, Mr Abbott has offered to give him a state funeral so that the people of Australia can pay their respects to their hero. For many listeners growing up with cricket, it is the end of an era and listening to cricket will never be quite the same again.