|Australia, Sri Lanka salute commentator Greig
Australian and Sri Lankan players paid their respects to Tony Greig in a moving farewell to the former England captain before start of play in the third cricket test today. Greig fell in love with Sri Lanka and its cricketers during his cricketing and commentating careers and was also an official ambassador for the country’s tourism.
A minute's silence was observed by players and fans in honor of Greig, who died at the weekend aged 66 from a heart attack, while battling lung cancer. A trademark Greig sunhat was placed symbolically on top of the stumps at the Sydney Cricket Ground before being taken away by his sons, Mark and Tom, AFP reports.
The sons embraced before heading from the ground before the start of play.
Greig's family and the Channel 9 commentary team were invited by captains Michael Clarke and Mahela Jayawardene to join the players and officials on the playing arena before the match started.
His wife Vivian was overcome by the cricket community's response.
“I just wish he could have seen it,'' she said. “I'm so grateful, truly grateful.
“For Channel 9 and Cricket Australia to organize this tribute to him is truly touching.’’
Greig worked for Australia's Nine Network for decades and his long-time commentary colleagues Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell were among the television contingent standing alongside the Australia team at the pre-match tribute.
South African-born Greig, a swashbuckling middle-order batsman and medium-fast bowler who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, died shortly after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Sydney home.
Greig played 58 Tests for his adopted country England between 1972 and 1977, scoring 3,599 runs with eight centuries at 40.43 and capturing 141 wickets at 32.20.