Tributes pour for charismatic and innovative Tony Greig

TONY Greig's impact on the game of cricket was so profound, the sport can be split into two phases - before him, and after him.

Those were the words of The Sun writer John Etheridge following Greig's passing from a heart attack after battling lung cancer this year.

And there can be no doubting the validity of those words.

The South African-born all-rounder who went on to represent England was many things, most notably:

Controversial: He infamously said he would make the West Indian players "grovel" in 1976.

He then recruited his own teammates to turn their backs on traditional cricket to play in Kerry Packer's World Series.

Charismatic and innovative: Greig would boldly signal his own fours after hitting feared Aussie quicks Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson for boundaries.

Later, he would captivate his audiences as a commentator of 33 years with his pitch reports, including his own weather chart, and key-in-the-pitch analysis.


It was no wonder then that the tributes continued to roll in for the much-loved man yesterday, who was 66, and one of England's greatest all-rounders, who played 58 Tests, scoring 3599 runs and taking 141 wickets.

The tributes on Twitter, not just from those in the cricket community, included: "Absolutely shattered by the news of Tony Greig's passing. One of the greats in every way. Love & thoughts to his whole family. Too sad," by his famous impersonator Billy Birmingham.

"Sad hearing of Tony Grieg. Which Aussie kid didn't stick his dads key into the backyard lawn & launch into a TG impression?! #tonygreig," comedian Peter Helliar.

"Great sympathy to Tony Greig's family. His life was rich and full of achievement and he leaves a fine and courageous legacy," Channel 9 reporter Peter Harvey.

Former legendary Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist told Triple M about his great deal of grief.

"Horrible and frightening news isn't it? It's just such a shock. The cricketing community will be hit very hard by this," he said.

Such was his fighting spirit, Greig told Channel 9 during the first Test against South Africa only last month that he was keen to return to his commentary chair this summer in an emotional interview.

He was struck down by the heart attack at his home on Saturday morning.

Topics:  cricket editors picks

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