We’ve Lost Our Beloved Cricketing Ambassador And The World Has Lost A Cricketing Legend
Posted on December 31st, 2012

Top Spin By Suni

Jan.1st 2013
 
“We’ve lost you dear friend but your memory will be etched in our hearts and minds forever. May God Grant You Eternal Rest!”
 
Tony Greig, the South African-born captain of England one of the most colourful of cricketers the world has ever known in recent times passed away sadly on Saturday in Australia after a brief illness albeit prematurely. He was 66. We’ve surely lost one of our most beloved ambassadors of the game and the world has lost a cricketing legend.
 
 It took him just two tours during his playing days to fall in love with Sri Lanka and her people particularly the cricket loving public  as well as old and contemporary players most importantly the squad participating in Sri Lanka’s  phenomenal World cup win in 1996 and until his untimely passing it was a friendship of love that was an incredible interaction between  a country and a gentle giant of immense fortitude and charisma. Tony Greig was indeed Sri Lanka’s Ambassador extraordinaire when it came to cricket and much more and his influence on Sri Lankan cricket embellished  it in a manner the Nation has probably never known previously. It will be irreplaceable as Sri lanka mourns the passing of this beloved friend who will be truly missed.
 
Tony’s voice became quite synonymous with cricket commentating around the world but particularly in Sri Lanka where he spent a lot of his time on assignment and made many friends while becoming accustomed to the cultures, cuisines and geographical beauty of the land which he adulated in so many ways and particularly through his flowery and articulate speech often describing places he had visited and the people whose hospitality he enjoyed immensely and most importantly the manner in which he described the ongoing game from the commentary box which had a quality of gifted delivery that was unmatched with a blend of humour, salient wit as well as a graphic accuracy of what was going on in the middle and a command of the game which rated his commentary as one of the finest and most listenable delivered with aplomb and authority which had the famous Greig stamp on it and an inimitable quality to it.
 
 As Sri Lankans we reach out to his family with condolences while also celebrating his magnificient influence and presence in our lives which will live on in the hearts of all Sri Lankans who thrilled to his voice, larger than life presence and appreciated all his wonderful efforts to uplift Sri Lanka Cricket which has benefited greatly as a result of his dedicated efforts.
Thank you  for all the memories Tony !

4 Responses to “We’ve Lost Our Beloved Cricketing Ambassador And The World Has Lost A Cricketing Legend”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    Tony Greig’s love for Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan cricket is well known. I still remember watching him play for England and how he fearlessly stood up to Dennis Lillie and Geoff Thompson when other English batsmen had no answers. During those days when the Aussie umpires were targeting Murali, Tony was the only unbiased channel 9 commenter. That was the time I began to admire Tony and became a big fan of him.He had a big heart to match his big frame and I enjoyed his sense of humer, specially his remarks about Bill Lawrie’s LBW decisions in Australia. Channel 9’s commentary team will not be the same without him.

  2. aravinda Says:

    A death in the family. This man was loved by all Sri Lankans for his straight manner and impartiality. I saw Tony Greig for the first time in 1973, when he toured Sri Lanka and played in a 3-day game at the the Oval. Or was it a 4-day game? In the first morning, on a fine February day, passing all those Serpentine road slums, Mahesh Hettige ( whom I believe, now an Accountant in NZ) and I, ventured to the Oval . Mahesh was my best friend. We were armed with little autograph books.

    We arrived at 9 AM. We went straight to visitors dressing room. No security to stop us. I remember getting autographs of number of players, including Arnold, Tolchard, Alan Knott, Mike Denniss any few others including Tony Grieg. But I don’t remember Knott playing in that match. I was 14 years and next to me, Mr. Greig was a giant. When Arnold, Tony Greig and few others walked to the middle for a pre-match inspection, we followed them, to be chased away.

    I will never forget the first over of that match. Arnold was the bowler. In the second ball, much heralded Warnapura nicked one to slips. Was Greig the slipper? I not sure now. Local Hero Duleep Mendis walked out. In the fifth ball of that over he tired to hit one to the cow-corner and was caught. Two down for zero. Other opener, now forgotten and unknown Amita Costa, lingered till lunch. All his runs were singles, he made 10. Captain Anura Thenakoon played two designer cover drives to the fence. Those were the only good shots in the morning session. When I saw Sri Lanka loosing 3 for nothing in Melbourne, I realized, nothing much has changed.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    SL cricket is going through a bad patch. Losses, a death, injuries, missed opportunities, etc.

    From the terrorist attack in Lawhore, things started to go bad.

    We should STAND BY the team. That is the BEST team we can have. Times will CHANGE.

    Good luck for the next match.

  4. Nimal Says:

    I even bought my mobile in SL after seeing his advertisement.RIP Tony!Srl Lanka must allow many such people to work and live in the island thus putting the shameless,biased and r**t West’s immigration policies to shame.He and others are most welcomed in our island.

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