Ex-England stars Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Nasser Hussain praise the contribution made by the late Tony Greig

Last Updated: 29/12/12 3:03pm

Tony Greig at Headingley in 1975

Tony Greig at Headingley in 1975

Sky Bet

Former England cricketers Ian Botham, Bob Willis, Nasser Hussain and Mark Ramprakash have paid tribute to Tony Greig who died on Saturday in Australia at the age of 66.

Greig, who played for England during the 1970s and also skippered the side, suffered a heart attack at his home in Sydney. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago.

He played 58 Test matches for England and was a key figure in the national side when Ian Botham made his international debut in a limited-overs game in August 1976.

Botham, speaking about the former all-rounder, said: "He was my first-ever captain for England. I'm very sad and very emotional.

"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."

Another former England skipper, Bob Willis, added: "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."

Nasser Hussain, who led the side until 2004, said he knew Greig very well from his role as a TV commentator and analyst.

Hussain said it was only a few months ago that he was sharing a taxi with the South African-born Greig in the sub-continent.

He said: "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."

And ex-England batsman Mark Ramprakash went on: "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."


Tony Greig: 1946-2012

Tony Greig: 1946-2012

Tributes to Greig

The world of cricket has been paying tribute to Tony Greig after his death at the age of 66.

Greig: died at the age of 66

Brave Greig's legacy

Nasser Hussain says generations should be thankful to Tony Greig for transforming cricket.

Former England and Sussex captain Tony Greig has died, aged 66, after suffering a heart attack in Sydney

Tony Greig's life in pictures

The decorated life of Tony Greig portrayed in pictures

Most Popular


On Goals on Sunday...

On Goals on Sunday...

We dissect the goals and analyse the talking points.

Tyler's stats and facts

Tyler's stats and facts

Who has the most Premier League goals without scoring with his head? Martin Tyler knows...

'Don't ruin the party'

'Don't ruin the party'

The Ally Pally atmosphere will be in full swing - Adrian Lewis hopes the Christmas spirit isn't spoiled.