File photo 2003: Former England cricket captain and television commentator Tony Greig watching the ball he just hit at a golf course in Bangalore in a celebrity golf event to raise funds for charity. AFP Photo
The cricket world on Sunday paid tribute to former England Test skipper and broadcaster Tony Greig, remembering him as “the godfather of modern cricket” due to his influence in shaping the game.
South African-born Greig died Saturday after a heart attack at his Sydney home at the age of 66.
The towering Greig was remembered as being instrumental in the formation of late Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer's breakaway World Series Cricket (WSC) contest staged from 1977-79, which sent shockwaves through the sport.
“It could be argued that Tony Greig was the godfather of modern cricket, the man who believed the game should be entertaining and a little irreverent but always ruthlessly competitive," wrote The Australian’s Peter Lalor. “Cricket has lost one of its giants.” Broadcasting doyen Richie Benaud, a former Australian captain, described him as a dynamic cricketer, a fearless thinker and an entertainer. “I found him a fellow full of courage,” Benaud said.
Kerry Packer’s son James said Greig “stood shoulder to shoulder with my father at times when it was not always fashionable”.
Flags flew at half-mast Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground while officials made plans to honor Greig during the third Test against Sri Lanka.