Nine Entertainment CEO David Gyngell said Richie Benaud’s "passing has robbed us not only of a national treasure, but a lovely man."

Gyngell continued, "Richie earned the profound and lasting respect of everyone across the world of cricket and beyond – first as an outstanding player and captain, then as an incomparable commentator, and through it all as a wonderful human being.

"Richie is a true legend not only to all the people who knew him, but to the many millions who didn’t. Which speaks volumes. He’s been part of the Australian psyche.

"Since way back in 1977 Richie has been a much loved member of the Nine family. More than that, he sat at the head of our table. We shall miss him dearly, but we’ll forever treasure his indelible memory and all the marvellous values for which he stood.

"Cricket is very much the richer for Richie Benaud’s lifelong engagement. And so are we all. Our deepest sympathies go to Daphne and Richie’s family."

Nine’s Head of Sport Steve Crawley said: "You didn’t have to know Richie to love him. Everything about him. Best in the business bar none. We will miss him the way you miss loved ones. And at the same time we will thank our lucky stars he came our way at all."

With the passing of Richie Benaud, Nine is changing its Saturday night schedule as a tribute to his amazing life. The new line-up will be:

8:30PM HOWZAT! KERRY PACKER’S WAR (Parts 1 and 2)