Geoffrey Boycott remembers ‘gentle giant’ Tony Greig as fearless, combative cricketer

Tony Greig

England great Geoffrey Boycott has paid tribute to former teammate and renowned television commentator Tony Greig, who passed away recently with a suspended heart attack, saying the former captain was a fearless gentle giant. "Greig was a fearless, combative cricketer but also someone who played the game with good humour and loved a challenge. He was a competitor in every respect," Boycott writes in his column for the Telegraph.

"I remember him as an excellent cricketer. I don't say nice things about people just because they have passed away. I tell the truth and Tony was a far better player than many people realize," he added. "He was also a far better player than some people want to give him credit for because even after all these years they have not forgiven him for leading the Kerry Packer revolution," he further wrote. Boycott added: "He was an imposing figure at the crease and would never shirk away from a challenge. He was not a player who would say nasty things to opponents. He did not need to snarl to motivate himself. He was competitive with a smile on his face."

"He was also a bit of an innovator. Down the years many batsmen have copied his stance. He was the first to stand at the crease with his bat raised in the air. Now it is commonplace but it came from Tony Greig," he further wrote. "To average 40.43 with the bat and 32.20 with the ball shows how good he was. Only Ian Botham can better his all-round record for England," he added. "Tony was a valued friend and family man and he was a gentle giant," Boycott concluded

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