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Greig a giant who changed cricket forever
Steve Larkin
16:15 AEST Sun Dec 30 2012

Tony Greig is expected to be honoured during the New Year's Test in his hometown Sydney as tributes flow worldwide for a cricket luminary described as a giant of a man who changed his sport forever.

The former England captain and long-time Australian resident died of a heart attack on Saturday, aged 66, at a Sydney hospital.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the respected commentator would likely be honoured during the Sydney Test against Sri Lanka from January 3-7.

It's expected the Australian team will wear black arm bands and a moment's silence will be held for Greig.

News of his death prompted worldwide tributes for the South African-born cricketer who helped the rebel World Series Cricket get underway in the late 1970s.

While initially ostracised in England for his role in signing players for WSC, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) paid tribute to the father of four.

"Tony Greig was an extremely talented all-round cricketer and captain," said the board's chief executive David Collier said.

"He was a giant of a man who played a major role in the changing face of cricket during the 1970s.

"He will be fondly remembered for his informed commentaries, his embracing of innovation to enhance the game including day and night cricket, as well as his performances on the field of play."

ECB chairman Giles Clarke described Greig as "a magnificent and fearless cricketer capable of changing games with ball or bat" and a "determined supporter of players' rights".

Greig's commentating partner Richie Benaud said Greig lost the England captaincy because of his role in helping craft World Series Cricket - which added to his respect in Australia.

"When World Series Cricket was on they knew the things he had done to make World Series Cricket a success - which meant he, as England captain, had to be negotiating with players in secret," former Australian captain Benaud told the Nine Network on Sunday.

"All those things when they eventually came out put pressure on Tony because he was the head of England, he was sacked from the captaincy.

"He ploughed his way through it, smoothly and roughly."

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