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Benaud widow declines state funeral

Richie Benaud's widow Daphne has turned down an offer for a state funeral for the legendary cricket commentator, opting instead for a private service in Sydney.

Prime minister Tony Abbott, who made the offer shortly after Benaud, 84, died on Friday from skin cancer complications, said "my understanding is that Richie's own wishes was for something very, very quiet and very, very private".

The service, to be held this week, is expected to be attended by only immediate family and close friends.

Benaud was considered one of the most influential cricket identities of the past century. The former Australian captain played 63 tests for but was renowned for his days in the commentary box and his unique presentation style.

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