Cricketer and commentator Tony Greig played an important role in the modernisation of the sport.
A different cricket
The world of cricket is mourning Tony Greig, who died in Sydney yesterday at the age of 66 of a heart attack less than three months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
The South African-born all-rounder was a controversial figure from the moment he achieved his ambition of playing for England in 1972, having qualified because his father was Scottish.
While his record as a player and England captain is notable in its own right, Greig is mostly remembered as a recruiter for World Series Cricket, the breakaway tournament set up by Australian media magnate Kerry Packer after a battle with cricket's establishment over broadcast rights.
The split, from 1977 to 1979, was acrimonious but it paved the way for the modern game. The introduction of team colours, limited-over events and day-night matches reinvigorated a sport that once relied only on slow-moving, five-day test matches. There is a direct line between WSC and the juggernaut of today's Twenty20 series, which attracts large stadium crowds and huge international television audiences.
Having sacrificed his test career for WSC, Greig became a celebrated commentator. Tributes have come from London and Lahore, Melbourne and Mumbai, confirming his role in cricket's transformation.