Tony Greig: "My inclination is to call it as it is" [AUDIO]

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Tony Greig’s phenomenal career consisted of representing England in 58 Test matches. He captained the national side between 1975 and 1977 and ended his career with a batting average of 40.23

In the world of today, the towering 6 ft 6 in frame of the Ex England captain is a familiar sight at most cricket grounds. He is a regular member of TV commentary teams where his no-nonsense style of describing events, on and off the field, has become his abiding trademark.

PakPassion.net met up with the legend early on the 4th day of the recently ended Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Dubai and spoke with him about the series so far, his predictions and a little about his style of commentary as well as his recent foray into the weird and wonderful world of social media.

PakPassion.net: Your thoughts on the quality of the cricket in the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series so far?

Tony Greig: I think it's been very good. It makes a big difference when you've got a good outfield, a good pitch, and I think this is a bit of a test for everybody. There is not really much in this pitch, certainly not in the early stages, in the pitches here [Dubai] and in Abu Dhabi for the quick bowlers in particular until of course there is a bit of wear and tear on the ball and you start to see a little bit of reverse swing. It's quite tough, it's quite a tough place to play cricket, and you have to take that into consideration, although the weather has been pretty good.

All up, its been a good test for Test cricket and I think we've seen some good cricket.


PakPassion.net: How do you see the Test series, the remainder of the Test and ODIs between Pakistan and Sri Lanka going?

Tony Greig: I think Sri Lanka did very well to save the last test match - obviously a fantastic innings by Kumar Sangakkara. I think they're going to struggle to do that again, just judging by the way things are developing today. There has been a bit of reverse swing out there, they are obviously hitting the worn patches on the pitch a fair bit, and that makes a big difference. It seems to me, with another day and two-thirds to go, Pakistan are really well placed. They would be very upset, sitting in their dressing room now, if they don't win. It they didn't win this, they would have to be pretty silly. They are very well placed.


PakPassion.net: The rest of the series you think will follow a similar pattern?

Tony Greig: I haven't been to Sharjah for so long, I have no idea what the pitch is like over there. I assume it's going to be something similar. If you go one-nil down in a three Test match series, you've got a bit of an advantage, in so far as that you're not going to let them back in. So many things these days that have a bearing on where you finish a series, like your position on the test match table. They'll be trying to pull themselves up, and I doubt very much whether they will give Sri Lanka much of a chance, given they play normally. Pakistan have also got this capacity to blow up, so who knows what happens in the next match? It's a bit too far to be speculating.


PakPassion.net: How did you get onto Twitter, and what kind of response are you getting?

Tony Greig: I'm having a bit of fun with it actually. I'm not one of these guys that wakes up every morning and thinks jeepers, I have to go and quickly get onto my computer. I tend to do it when I feel like it. If I'm sitting at the ground with nothing else to do, I'll go down that course. I actually find it, I'm slowly but surely getting used to it, I find it very informative - I think you can get onto some things, news of some things quicker than you might otherwise. There is a fair bit to learn from people who you follow, and you can be selective in that regard, it's good fun. Plenty of people feel free to have a go at things I might say and I in return will respond – I don't mind having a bit of a go myself. I'm not big on responding personally, because then if you get down that course you have to be fair and do it to everybody. At the moment, my pattern is to develop a bit of a blog on one side, I do that with the help of my son. With that blog, as I get inclined to write a bit more, will develop that side of it a bit more. In the meantime, have a bit of fun on twitter. It's good fun, I'm enjoying it.


PakPassion.net: Your style of commentary is no-nonsense, you say it like you see it - is that something you work on or is that the normal Tony Greig?

Tony Greig: I don't have to work very hard on it, because over the years I have been a bit disenchanted with some of the things that have happened in cricket from an administration point of view. My inclination is to call it as it is, regardless of what others might think, otherwise we might all be going down the same path. I think one of the things about cricket is there's plenty of room for different opinions. You don't have to be right, it is just one view, so I get a bit frustrated. I'm frustrated in this test match, we haven't got DRS here, I really am, especially when I see umpires put under serious pressure, which they shouldn't be these days. There should be less pressure for them and we don't want to see bad decisions, we don't want to see test matches won on a back of a bad decision, even if that was the case in the past. We have to grow up a little bit in that area.

PakPassion.net: Thanks a lot for your time.

Tony Greig: Thanks.


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great stuff, Tony is definitely one of my favourite commentators! and he is very funny on Twitter especially when he goes after the Indians! :)))

will be great to see him commenting on Umar Akmal in the ODIs/T20!
 
itsmek1 and I bumped into him outside the media enclosure, he is VERY tall! and a very nice guy, didn't have to oblige us for a picture but he did so :)

as for his commentary, has always captured the excitement of the situation very well! will be great to see him return to Sharjah!
 
Many thanks to Tony for his time - He was extremely busy with his commentary stint but I shamelessly pounced on him while he was enjoying some dessert :)

Real gentleman as he obliged us with an interview!
 
good interview
for some strange reason i read the whole interview in Tony's voice lol :asif
 
Completely agree with him on the DRS part.

It's a tad silly to not have the DRS in place. A system with the DRS system is miles ahead of a system without.

Sure, there are kinks here and there. However, you compare that to the daily howlers we see from human umpires and it's obvious the DRS system is the path to follow.
 
Thanks, great interview. Not too long though

Anyways can you get one of Danny Morison ? :D
 
Great interview and great guy. Says it how it is, even if some may not like it :sachin :nehra

Not to mention, he is really passionate and gets you all caught up in his commentary as well:
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:)))

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Good interview and nice of him to offer his time.

Personally I don't like his commentary at all, he has become a old bitter man still living in the days of Bradman and no helmet, add to that the same old lines repeated time and again while constantly screaming after each boundary, to summarize he is a pain to listen to.

p.s An Interview with NAS is way overdue, I am sure everyone on this site would love to hear his thoughts on the upcoming England series and also his feelings about other cricketing matters including India.
 
He belongs in the bracket of 'great commentators'. :don
 
Greig is a cheery passionate commie but painfully obvious: "Oh he's hit that, he really has hit that" no really?

Also he was a top allrounder. Second best England allrounder after Botham imho...Flintoff was unstoppable for a few years but the overall result was just OK
 
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The title says it all - that is Tony Greig - take it or leave it!
 
On the sad occasion of his passing away, another chance to read and listen to Tony Greig.
 
He was a special commentator.

Sachin's desert storm innings are more memorable because of his commentary
 
I miss the guy immensely. Look at Channel 9 now and compare it to the glory years.

Richie Benaud, Tony Greig, Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell. What more could you ask for ?
 
Would have been his birthday today....
 
I miss the guy immensely. Look at Channel 9 now and compare it to the glory years.

Richie Benaud, Tony Greig, Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell. What more could you ask for ?

U don't like brayshaw, Healy, Nicholas and warney? :narine
 
Tony Greig's commentary during Sachin's twin desert storms

Where were you when it happened and what were your initial reaction to the spectacle.

For many in India, it remains a defining moment, for Cricket in India was not the same after those two nights.

Probably the greatest piece of commentary ever in Cricket and right up there with any piece of commentary in any sport, including WWE and UFC.
 
Lot of indians seem to love this game. I remember Kohli mentioning it as well .. that it inspired him to pick up the bat. The interesting thing about Tony Grieg is that he always sounds like he means it .. it isn't the forced excitement that you get from some commentators, like Nasser Hussain for example.
 
It was up there as the greatest piece of commentary before Ian Smith surpassed him with his "by the barrest of the margins".
 
God I miss Tony and that gravelly South African voice. His enthusiasm was infectious.

As painful as that match was, his commentary in the 96 QF between India and Pakistan in Bangalore was terrific especially for Ajay Jadeja's onslaught.
 
I miss Tony Greig,Tony Cozier, and Richie Benaud commentary so much. They added great insight. Tony Greig was great at adding drama during close games
 
On this day, 14th August, 1976:

The day Tony Greig grovelled. In a BBC interview before the 1976 series against West Indies, England's captain Greig came out with a foolish boast: "When the West Indies are down they grovel... and I intend to make them grovel." After defeats in the third and fourth Tests, Greig finally conceded that his comments had been ill conceived, and as England were put to the sword at The Oval, he grovelled on his hands and knees in front of a partisan full-house crowd. But the third day's play ended amid unsavoury scenes, when play had to be suspended for ten minutes after Greig's dismissal triggered a pitch invasion by spectators.
 
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