Greig transformed the game - Hussain

Former England captain Tony Greig, who has died aged 66, has been credited with revolutionising the game of cricket.

Greig, a right-handed middle-order batsman and medium-fast seamer, passed away at his home in Sydney after suffering a heart attack. He had been fighting lung cancer for more than two months.

Nasser Hussain, who captained England between 1999 and 2003, told Sky Sports News: "Because of Tony Greig and Kerry Packer and the World Series, suddenly the world realised that they had to start paying their cricketers. One-day cricket became much more dramatic with the coloured clothing and the white balls and another form of cricket was invented."

Greig replaced Mike Denness as England captain in the summer of 1975 and led the national team from 1975-77 before defecting to be one of the spearheads of Packer's World Series Cricket. South Africa-born Greig's decision may have been controversial in some quarters but Hussain believes its popularity shaped the development of the modern game.

He added: "It was huge. It was an amateur game before with players just playing for the love of the game. In those Packer years the cricketing world was in absolute uproar and no-one really knew where to turn and luckily everyone bought into this new form of the game.

"Television became very interested because the cricket they saw was much more exciting than some of the cricket that went on before. The establishment had to follow as interest in the game grew because of what he achieved. He was the sort of guy that didn't take a backward step against anybody.

"He was a dramatic sort of guy with the blond locks and his collar up. He took on cricketers and oppositions.

"He was very brave, he did take people on and wasn't someone who would just go with the norm. He wasn't establishment. He was a great England captain and he transformed the game. It is very sad news and very sudden news as well."

All-rounder and former Test captain Sir Ian Botham added: "He was my first-ever captain for England. I'm very sad and very emotional. He was flamboyant and extroverted, faster than light and he made things happen. He was an amazing guy and so full of energy.

"He changed cricket for everybody as we know it now. The game suddenly leaped forward and players started to be paid more substantial amounts. He revolutionised the game and it had to be done. The players of today have a lot to be thankful for in Tony and Kerry Packer."

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