In Memory of Tony Greig: A Sturdy Friend of Sri Lanka

Michael Roberts

As the Sri Lankan cricket team embarks on a short tour of Australia, I remind one and all of a sturdy supporter from within the ranks of the cricketing world in Australia whose premature death in December 2012 was a loss to one and all.  A South African who played cricket for England, Tony became Kerry Packer’s right-hand man during the revolutionary World Series cricket[1] on the 1970s (which new generations must study) ….. and made Sydney his home.

But he also became enthused by Sri Lankan cricket – for reasons I know not. That he knew a great deal about the Lankan cricket scene I can vouch for from one or two chats with him in Sri Lanka. His greatest service to us was in January 1998 when umpire Emerson no-balled Murali in a pre-planned act at Adelaide Oval. Tony participated in the frantic and tense behind the scenes discussions of SL cricket officialdom marshalled by Thilanga Sumathipala and Ranjit Fernando.[2]

I posted a Requiem when he left us prematurely in 2012 … …………………………..

I miss him now.

In the words rendered immortal by the Anzacs, all Sri Lankan cricket-lovers voice should intone: “We Remember Thee, Tony!”

This, THEN, is our sādhu, sādhu, Tony.

22nd April 1974: Sussex cricketer Tony Greig at a training session. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

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EMAIL COMMENT from Michael Tissera in Colombo, 25 October 2019: “Thanks Mike. Yes he was a dear friend of Sri Lanka cricket.” …. an important appraisal because Tissera was involved in cricket administration with the BCCSL  from time-to-time in the 1990s and 2000s; while also serving as manager of the SL team when Moody was coach and the Team toured India and Australia.


[1] When the West Indies took on a combined team at the old AAMI stadium in West Lakes — a huge concourse where a drop-in pitch had been inserted – I was one of about 990 odd spectators at the ground. Among other facets, WSC revolutionized the TV coverage of cricket

[2] I happened to be one of the Sl Cricket Wellwishers’ Circle in Adelaide then and also knew Ranjit from way back, while also being in touch with Dr Tilak Chandratilleka in Perth (related to Thilanga by marriage) –at whose house some of the ‘defence meetings’ of the BCCSL occurred.


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2 responses to “In Memory of Tony Greig: A Sturdy Friend of Sri Lanka

  1. Eddie Wijesuriya

    Tony was is a legend and loved Sri Lanka.

  2. Pingback: The DRS in Cricket: Weeraratna’s Claim as “Inventor” | Thuppahi's Blog

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