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Marylebone Cricket Club president pays tribute to late England captain Tony Greig

PUBLISHED: 14:32 31 December 2012 | UPDATED: 15:47 31 December 2012

Tony Greig photographed in 1975 after his appointment as England captain. Picture: Press Association Images.

Tony Greig photographed in 1975 after his appointment as England captain. Picture: Press Association Images.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The president of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has paid tribute to commentator and former England captain Tony Greig who died suddenly following a heart attack on Saturday aged 66.

Mike Griffith, who played with Greig at county side Sussex, described him as one of the sport’s “most colourful characters”.

He 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.”

Born in South Africa in 1946, Greig qualified to play for England due to his Scottish father and enjoyed a six-year international career, during which he captained his country in 14 Tests.

Standing at 6ft 7in, the all-rounder was a towering presence throughout a 58-match Test career which spawned eight centuries and 141 wickets.

The father-of-four did not shy away from controversy during his career.

In 1976, he infamously stated his intention to make the touring West Indies side “grovel”, and was 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 subsequently emigrated to Australia, spending the next 30 years as a commentator for Australian television network, Channel Nine. He was awarded honorary life membership of MCC in 1998.

Mr Griffith added: “His cricketing talents were combined with a fierce competitive nature and, as such, his personality was imprinted on any team he represented.

“The game has lost one of its most colourful characters and he will be sorely missed.”

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