Ex-England stars Botham, Hussain pay tribute to ‘revolutionary’ Greig

Updated: Dec 30, 2012, 12:36 PM IST

Johannesburg: Former players Ian Botham and Nasser Hussain have paid tributes to the legendary England captain and renown commentator Tony Greig after his sudden demise due to a heart attack on Saturday at the age of 66.

The South Africa-born Greig, a swashbuckling middle-order batsman and medium-fast bowler, passed away at his home in Sydney, two months after being diagnosed with lung cancer, Sports24 reports.

Greig had been working as a television commentator in Australia since retiring from cricket in 1979.

Greig became England captain in 1975 and led the national team for two years before leaving to help launch the controversial World Series Cricket (WSC) tournament created by late Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer.

Greig’s defection created a storm, but Hussain, England captain from 1999 to 2003, said it represented a landmark moment in the sport``s evolution.

Hussain said it was only because of Greig and Australian business tycoon Kerry Packer the world started realizing that cricket players need to be paid as well.

Hussain said Greig alongside Packer deserve the credit for the introduction of one-day cricket. The former England said Greig was a brave man who was not afraid to go against the norm and deserves huge credit for the transformation of the game.

Meanwhile, all-rounder and former Test captain Botham said that Greig was his first ever captain for England, and added that he is very sad and very emotional at his sudden demise.

Botham branded Greig as a flamboyant and extroverted cricketer, who was faster than light, and made things happen.

Botham also praised Greig’s energy levels and credited him for revolutionising the game by introducing one-day cricket with the help of Packer.