Cricket Australia has paid tribute to former England Test captain Tony Greig who died today aged 66.
Chairman Wally Edwards said: “On behalf of Australian cricket, I offer condolences to Tony’s family, friends and fans and admirers.”
“He was a combative on-field rival of Australian cricket but became one of Australian cricket’s firmest friends, with his long-running role as a Channel Nine commentator making him an Australian household name,” Mr Edwards said.
“Tony stood out as a player and captain, as an influential part of the Kerry Packer World Series Cricket era and then for decades as a familiar voice in millions of Australian living rooms each summer as part of the Nine telecast which revolutionised the TV presentation of cricket.”
“His illness and too-early death comes as a terrible shock – he will be greatly missed.”
Australian Captain Michael Clarke also passed on his condolences to the Greig family.
“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.
“The news will hit the cricket community hard, but we will never forget the lasting legacy Tony leaves us with.
“On behalf of the Australian Cricket Team our thoughts, prayers and wishes are with Greig family at this difficult time.”
Former Australian captain Greg Chappell also paid tribute.
“I was saddened to learn of Tony’s passing. Tony was a very willing opponent on the field, but was equally willing as a friend off the field.
“He made himself into a successful Test cricketer and Test captain by that willingness to take the game up to his opponent whether with bat or ball. He was also one of the best slip catchers of all time.
“I got to know Tony well during the World Series period and have worked with Tony many times since as a commentator.
“His enthusiasm for the game and his combative nature came to the fore in this role as well and while he was always happy to stir the Australian audiences, behind the scenes he loved this country as much as we do.
“My memories of Tony are of his gregariousness and his generosity of nature. He will be missed by his family and his many friends. My thoughts are with Viv and his children at this time.”