Tony Greig: Tributes from around the world to a cricketing revolutionary
Last Updated: December 29, 2012 5:24pm
The world of cricket has been reacting to the death of former England captain Tony Greig from a heart attack at the age of 66.
Here is a selection of the tributes that have been coming in from all corners of the world.
Sir Ian Botham: "He was flamboyant and extroverted, and he made things happen. He was an amazing guy and so full of energy. He changed cricket for everybody as we know it now. The game suddenly leaped forward and players started to get paid more substantial amounts. He revolutionised the game and it had to be done. The players of today have a lot to be thankful for in Tony and Kerry Packer."
Nasser Hussain: "I am extremely sad and shocked to hear of his death. He changed the game forever. Because of Tony and Kerry Packer and the World Series, the world realised that they had to start paying their cricketers. One-day cricket became much more dramatic with the coloured clothing and white balls. Television became very interested because the cricket they saw was much more exciting than some of the cricket that went on before."
Bob Willis: "He revolutionised cricket. He had a tremendous effect on my own career. He persuaded me to get really, really fit with long-distance running and that totally revolutionised my career. I never had another injury after that and went on to take over 300 Test wickets. It's a very, very sad day for cricket. Sixty-six is no sort of innings."
Shane Warne (via Twitter): "What terrible & sad news about the passing of Tong Greig,he was a wonderful man & a good friend, my heart goes out to all his family RIP! Tony did so much for the game of cricket & always stood up for what he believed in & had the game of cricket at heart, we will all miss him. Don't forget as well as a wonderful commentator he was also a great cricketer.. RIP my friend & all my love to your family..."
Brian Lara (via Twitter): "RIP Tony Greig!! You have left a great footprint on the world of cricket. My condolences to the Greig family."
Michael Clarke: "I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating. Tony has a long and decorated history with international cricket both as a player and commentator and cricket will be much poorer for his loss. Personally, he has also been a great mentor for me, providing great advice through the good times and the bad."
Matt Prior (via Twitter): "Can't believe one of my heroes Tony Greig has passed away. One of the greatest voices in cricket and will be sorely missed."
Mark Ramprakash: "He became an icon as a commentator. His commentating was so full of character, there are certain people who have voices that are synonymous with their chosen sport and Tony Greig was one of those. He will be very, very sadly missed."
Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Sports Minister Kate Lundy (in joint statement): "Australia has lost one of the iconic voices of sport with the passing today of Tony Greig. Greig was a wonderful example of someone who came to Australia from somewhere else in the world and embraced his adopted country as his own. As a superb all-rounder, ambitious national captain and authoritative commentator over the best part of half a century, Greig's standing in the game is matched by very few others."
ICC chief executive Dave Richardson: "This is extremely sad news for cricket and the ICC send their condolences to Tony's family and in particular his wife Vivian. Tony played a significant part in shaping modern cricket as a player in the 1970s and then provided millions of cricket lovers with a unique insight as a thoughtful and knowledgeable commentator - primarily for the Nine Network in Australia. I met with him on several occasions during the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka where he was a senior commentator for our broadcast partner ESS. He was also a regular visitor to the ICC offices in Dubai when commentating for Ten Sports. I am sure that I will not be alone in saying that he and his wise words will be missed by cricketers, administrators and spectators around the world."
Marylebone Cricket Club president Mike Griffith: "Tony's understanding of the game was reflected not just on the field, where his shrewd captaincy was often to the fore, but also behind the microphone as a much-loved commentator. His cricketing talents were combined with a fierce competitive nature and, as such, his personality was imprinted on any team he represented. I consider myself very fortunate to have played in the same Sussex team as Tony, and saw first hand his resolute love of cricket. The game has lost one of its most colourful characters today and he will be sorely missed."
Cricket South Africa acting CEO Jacques Faul: "There isn't a single professional cricketer playing today who does not owe him a debt of gratitude for the role he played in the 1970s in vastly improving their working conditions and making professional cricket a viable and attractive career proposition."
England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier: "Tony Greig was an extremely talented all-round cricketer and captain. He was a giant of a man who played a major role in the changing face of cricket during the 1970s. He will be fondly remembered for his informed commentaries, his embracing of innovation to enhance the game including day/night cricket as well as his performances on the field of play."
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke: "Tony Greig was a magnificent and fearless cricketer capable of changing games with ball or bat. He led England brilliantly in India and rejuvenated the side. He was a determined supporter of players' rights in his later years."