Sydney, Feb.16 (ANI): Former Australian cricketers and a televison channel executive have objected to a massage palour in Sydney mimicking former Test captain and noted commentator Richie Benaudin an advertisement.
For nearly 50 years Richie Benaud has been the voice of cricket. Now he is the "voice" of one of the seediest businesses around town.
An advertisement is being broadcast on FM radio station Vega mimicking Benaud's distinctive voice promoting Kings Court, a Sydney massage parlour on Broadway, reports The Daily Telegraph.
In the ad, the voice-over imitating Benaud uses a series of common cricket terms as crude innuendo.
Channel 9 chief executive David Gyngell and respected Nine cricket commentator Michael Slater last night expressed shock the ad would air.
"Richie Benaud is a legend and this is tacky and disrespectful," he said.
The ad starts with a female voice asking: "Welcome to King's Court, sir, how can I help you?"
The voice mimicking Benaud responds by saying: "Yes, I'm after a maiden to bowl me over."
The ad then has more innuendo, which we cannot publish on The Daily Telegraph website.
The Daily Telegraph left a message for Benaud, in Melbourne for last night's Border Medal, but he did not return calls.
But those close to Benaud, 79, predict he would be angry if he heard the ads.
Slater though was upset that Benaud's name had been used to promote a massage parlour.
"I am amazed this has gone on air. Richie is so revered and so highly thought of throughout cricket and Australia. He has been nothing but a professional and a gentleman. Richie has been the voice of Australian cricket for many, many decades. I am staggered by this to be truthful," Slater said.
Gyngell wanted Benaud's stellar reputation protected.
"Nine will defend Richie Benaud's reputation to the highest degree," Gyngell said.
Kings Court owner, who said his name was John, said his parlour was not attempting to demean Benaud.
"Do you think it is (disrespectful)?" he asked. "It is a light-hearted look at life.
"People can be offended all they like. That's fair enough but who cares. This is a dirty city and there are lot worse things happening than this. The sex industry is a respectable thing," he added. (ANI)