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Rest in Peace my friend

It was with great sadness that the cricket world heard of the passing away of Tony Greig.

I knew Tony for just about my whole career -- initially as a teammate, then as an opponent and in later years as a broadcaster. In fact, it was owing to him and his involvement with World Series Cricket that I ended up in Australia.

He was captain of Sussex when I went there in the late seventies. During that time he also captained England. As a leader he was controversial, unpredictable and uncompromising. He was often in hot water due to his leadership style but this rarely fazed him. There was never a dull moment with Tony Greig at the helm.

As a player he was perhaps under-rated. His record as an allrounder at top level is very good. He was a gutsy batsman. He played in an era when there was no place for the fainthearted. Both the West Indies and Australia had some of the best teams ever during that time. It was a special time in world cricket with the fire of Babylon ruling supreme as well as the Lillee and Thomson phase. For those of us who came through that time unscathed there was always a special bond.

It was a fast bowling era and all the test teams were competitive. In his prime Greig mixed it with the best of them as a batsman and ended up with an average of over 40, which was the benchmark for a good player during that time. His bowling was effective as well. He bowled good outswingers. His height was a factor and enabled him to get steep bounce. Later on he developed his off spinners to a point where he could switch from bowling his medium paced swingers to the spin option without any trouble.

As a broadcaster he was exactly the same as he was as a player. He was never scared to speak his mind. Fiercely loyal to Kerry Packer he was along with Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell the voice of channel nine until the time of his illness. He had longevity in the game due to his personality.

The cricket world will miss him. Rest in peace my friend.

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