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Goodbye to a great

Posted in ECB

Tony Greig

A giant of a man in so many senses, Tony Greig will be sorely missed following his passing at the age of 66

Irreplaceable is not a word to be used lightly, but I think I can safely say there will never be another quite like Tony Greig.

A giant of a man in so many senses, Greig's untimely passing at the age of 66 leaves a huge void.

Having been born in 1986, I am not in the best position to do justice to the all-rounder's distinguished cricketing career - which saw him lead England in 14 of his 58 Tests.

I will therefore leave it to others to assess Greig's countless on-field achievements, together with the skill, commitment and passion he displayed.

It is that very passion and enthusiasm - still in evidence long after his retirement from playing - that drove me to write this blog upon hearing this morning’s sad news.

For Greig was quite simply my favourite broadcaster - a man whose love of cricket shone through every time he picked up a microphone.

Never one to shy away from a debate, he may often have polarised opinion with his forthright comments.

Yet Greig's energy and charisma had me hooked from the moment I first heard his distinctive voice booming into my living room.

There have been many fine commentators in our sport, yet few can have operated with such a sense of joy.

Here was a man who clearly took great pleasure from his role. Indeed, it was often easy to forget that Greig had played at the highest level himself, such was the fan-like fervour he exhibited.

Although better known for his association with Australian network Channel Nine, which spanned more than three decades, Greig was responsible for many memorable lines during Channel 4’s masterful coverage of the 2005 Ashes series.

A particular favourite of mine, which saw him utter “it’s in the air, it’s gone for four, IT’S GONE FOR SIX!” as a shot cleared the ropes, typified his usual level of excitement. A selection of some of his other great moments can be found here and is sure to bring a smile to your face.

That is not to say that Greig’s commentary was all about humour, however.

His analysis was underpinned by a deep understanding of the game, which was very much in evidence when he delivered this year’s Cowdrey Lecture - an oration that won deserved acclaim from many quarters.

Also an influential administrator and fierce champion of player rights, Greig has left a lasting legacy and the number of touching tributes left by his friends and colleagues over the last few hours will not surprise anyone.

Cricket will not be the same without him.