Bill Lawry has officially retired. Picture: Channel 9
Bill Lawry has officially retired. Picture: Channel 9

‘Great journey’: Lawry confirms retirement

BILL Lawry is putting down the microphone after four decades of cricket commentary for the Nine Network.

The 81-year-old confirmed on Tuesday he had turned down offers from Fox Sports and the Seven Network, opting for retirement after Nine's loss in April of cricket media rights.

"I've had 40 great years at Channel 9 and I've been very, very lucky ... I don't want to spoil a great journey," he told SEN's Whateley program.

Lawry said he viewed Nine as a "home" where he'd been very happy since his recruitment by Kerry Packer in the 1970s to commentate World Series Cricket.

"Packer called us together way back there in 1975-76. I remember Keith Stackpole and I went to the first meeting or two and we said this will only last for a couple of years - let's enjoy ourselves," he said.

Bill Lawry and Tony Greig had an incredible rapport.
Bill Lawry and Tony Greig had an incredible rapport.

 

"So we were way off the mark there."

The former Australian Test captain credited Nine with helping to revolutionise cricket by bringing the modern game into people's homes.

"The replays, the third umpires, stump-cam, Greiggie and his pitch report way back in the early days - sticking a key into the pitch - brought to the people just how Test cricket was played," he said.

 

Bill Lawry reserved special praise for Richie Benaud.
Bill Lawry reserved special praise for Richie Benaud.

 

"It was new territory for everybody. Richie (Benaud) was the key to it all and Richie was so calm and collected and then we had guys like Greiggie and Ian Chappell come in."

Lawry, who went on to form a famous commentary partnership with Tony Grieg, said he hoped to "pop up" on Nine from time to time.

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