Mike Griffith, President of MCC, has paid tribute to Tony Greig, the charismatic former England all-rounder and broadcaster, and MCC Honorary Life Member, who has died aged 66 following a heart attack.
The game has lost one of its most colourful characters
Griffith, a teammate of Greig with Sussex, said: "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. On behalf of all Members of the Club I have sent our deepest condolences to Tony’s family."
Tony Greig was one of England’s finest all-rounders, who captained his country in 14 Tests. Standing at 6’6”, Greig was a towering presence during a six-year international career, which spawned eight Test centuries and 141 wickets at an impressive rate.
Greig was appointed as captain of the national side in 1975 – when he was also named as Wisden Cricketer of the Year – and became one of the most imposing and influential leaders in the history of English cricket.
The South Africa born Sussex cricketer also courted controversy during his career. In 1976 he infamously stated his intention to make the touring West Indies side “grovel”, and was ultimately stripped of the England captaincy in 1977 as a consequence of his involvement with Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket.
Greig played his last professional match in 1978 and then spent the rest of his career working as a commentator for Australian television network, Channel Nine. He was awarded Honorary Life Membership of MCC in 1998.
Greig delivered an impassioned and well-received MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s earlier this year, becoming only the second ex-England captain to deliver the Lecture, after Geoffrey Boycott in 2005.
The MCC flag, on the Clock Tower at Lord’s, will fly at half-mast in his memory.