When Phil Hughes passed on, there were huge amounts of dignity and appropriateness displayed on the world's pages and front walls. The tributes and the putting out of bats seemed perfectly in tune with the feelings of cricket, its players and public. What was perhaps a little overreaching was the notion that his tragic death would herald in a new era of so-termed spirit of cricket decency whereby all perceived notions of ill behaviour would magically cease. That was never, ever going to happen and some people got themselves in a terrible muddle attempting to use a tragic one-in-a-million accident as a lever for cloying morality.
Richie Benaud's passing is similar and different. No tribute will be too adulatory. No gesture, even a state funeral, can do justice to who he was and what he represented. But, in contrast to the somewhat grasping notions of betterment that attached themselves to Hughes's death, Benaud's genuinely offers the possibility for tangible improvement of one aspect of the game. When Channel 9, as it will, airs shows in his remembrance its producers should really pause for a second and ask themselves why the world has stopped in his honour. Pause and question just why it is he was, is and will be so loved, admired and respected and then, uncomfortable as it might be, contrast that with the coverage they serve up to viewers and really, truly consider the barbecue and banter-based direction in which they are going. The allegations against their current commentary are too tedious and worn to go over, but suffice to say we should be grateful in some twisted respects that Benaud's stints were limited by circumstance in the last couple of years. When he did appear, it was like seeing Maria Callas on the panel of X Factor, his otherworldly brilliance forced to mingle awkwardly with the squalor of mediocrity.
So amid the sadness and eulogies, if it is not too crass and immediate to ask, we should all enquire of Channel 9 that that they have a deep look at how they cover cricket and whether some, not all, members of their present commentary team could be just a little more articulate, just a little less self-obsessed, just little more cricket-based.
Richie Benaud spent decades making cricket better for everyone. If he can do it from beyond the grave no one should be in the least surprised.