'The little man has hit the big fella for six'

Memorable lines from the commentary of Tony Greig

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 29, 2012

Comments: 58 | Text size: A | A

Three decades worth of international cricket commentary can't be put down in a short list of memorable lines, but these quotes from Tony Greig will let us relive some of his and cricket's great moments. We have only used the ones for which we could find Youtube videos, which means "The Indians have come alive" and "These little Sri Lankans... they never give up, do they?" aren't in this list. Send us your favourites (with links, if possible).

Tony Greig on the pitch before the start of play, England v Australia, 2nd Test, Old Trafford, 1st day, August 11, 2005
Tony Greig: brought the fan's excitement into his commentary © PA Photos
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"They are dancing in the aisles in Sharjah."
Greig captures the mood during Sachin Tendulkar's assault on Australia in the Desert Storm series in 1998

"The little man has hit the big fella for six! He's half his size!"
Tendulkar's straight six off Tom Moody in the final of the same series amuses the commentator immensely

"It's miles in the air… it's a wonderful catch! What a catch! The greatest catch! Unbelievable Steven Waugh."
Greig at his excited best while watching Steve Waugh take a running catch on the boundary

"Straight up in the air… Waugh won't drop this… oh he's dropped it! I can't believe it! What's going on here?"
He's forced to splutter when Waugh drops a dolly off Tendulkar

"Oh boy, doesn't she look gorgeous?"
As the camera pans on an attractive female spectator, Greig airs his opinion and prompts Bill Lawry to say something too.

"Changing behind the bowler's arm? That's enough to put any batsman off."
Npower sponsor girls by the sightscreen distract the batsman and Greig

"These Sri Lankans are giving the Aussies a real hiding."
And they did too, in the 1996 World Cup final

"What a biggie! It's gone into the trees."
During Sanath Jayasuriya's world-record fastest one-day fifty

"Viv Richards has obviously decided that tonight is going to be his night."
And it was, as Richards's 40-ball 60 helped West Indies win the Benson & Hedges World Series 2-1 in a best-of-three final

"No, we don't want him to go there, that's for sure. That would not help at all."
Greig's struggles with a Channel 9 graphic for slip fielding has his colleagues in splits

"That was hit really hard by Rod Marsh… no it wasn't, Rod Marsh has just walked into the dressing room, and what's more, he's retired!"
Greig confuses Allan Border with Rod Marsh three years after the keeper quit Test cricket

"He's blazed that one through the off-side field… go and fetch that!"
On Asanka Gurusinha's assault on the Indian bowlers during the 1996 World Cup

"That's a great shot. What a little beauty! That's gone miles over the top of midwicket."
On Ajay Jadeja's six of Waqar Younis in the 1996 World Cup quarter-final

"Kumble's playing a blinder."
Words you never thought you'd hear

"India have won in dramatic style! The whole of Bengal are on their feet!"
India's historic win over Australia in Kolkata 2001, in the words of Greig

"Looks like Inzamam is making a comeback… Sorry Inzy, don't want you charging into the dressing room here trying to beat me up."
A tubby fielder playing a match in the desert in the Middle East reminds Greig of a certain great Pakistan batsman

"They'll probably need Gillette to work on one of those Gillette G2 double-edged swivel heads to get through those valleys they have got here."
One of Greig's many memorable pitch reports, in which he uses a key and a scythe

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Quite a few memorable one liners have been mentioned here but one that comes to mind was during Sanath Jayasuriya's 189.After Ganguly had bowled a wide to dismiss Sanath stumped for 189 in Sharjah,Tony said ,'' there are Indians, there are Arabs, there are Sri Lankans and Englishmen,they have,you have we have all witnessed...a great inns.''

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 0:48 GMT)

After bouncing Lillee while he was bowling in the 1974 Ashes, Mr. Greig knew that he had just angered one of the quickest and greatest fast bowlers in history. And when it came time to bat, Lillee was champing at the bit to show Greig just how dangerous he could be. Mr. Greig's reaction? A century against a lethal Lillee and a lightning quick called Jeff Thomson. As an Aussie, I wanted Lillee to succeed. But seeing Tony imitating the umpire by signalling every time he hit a four off Dennis was just sensational to watch. Mr. Greig may have had a flamboyant personality that could irk the opposition, but he bloody well had the talent to prove that he belonged in Test Cricket, regardless of which nation he played for. All Aussie cricket-lovers will miss the man very deeply.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 19:27 GMT)

i miss miss u a lot sir...u lifted the standards of the game by ur commentary...the way in which u created interest in the minds of the viewers was incredible...ithink no body can do that..hats off to u sir may ur soul rest in peace

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

"Whaddaplayaaaa" " Whattacomentettaaaaaa" Dear Tony, We will definitely miss you in the comentary box, May Your Soul Rest in Peace!!! Miss youuuuu Sir!!!

Posted by SyedArbabAhmed on (December 31, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

Got him... and many many more, Tony Greig was a reasonable cricketer and a good commentator, he'll be missed in the world of #cricket.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 6:54 GMT)

Going Going Gone !! These are his words and will be etched in our memories especially during Sharjah Desert Innings of Tendulkar. Most invigorating commentator ever. Would give you goose pimples with his commentory. He Made more ODIs exciting. We will miss you.

Posted by Udendra on (December 31, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

he was the best commentator ever. His flair in the comm box will be dearly missed by fans.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 0:49 GMT)

Billy Birmingham and "These liddle shree lonkans" and of course (infamously) the real TG when Dev Malcom bowled Viv Richards with a low full toss in 1990. "Goodnight Charlie" (which is a reference th the radio show "Goodnight Charlie" starring Tim Brooke Taylor and nothing else despite the press trying to make it out to be a faux pas of some kind (which clearly it isn't - unless you've got the kind of mind that subverts everything you hear and spend your life looking for ways to be offended by nothing)

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 23:50 GMT)

Favorite Tony Greig quote, after Pakistan spilled yet another catch: "Misbah [ul-Haq] by name. Misbah by nature".

Posted by Venkatb on (December 30, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

Perhaps his greatest line was "Here, carry my luggage" to a smallish man who had come to meet the team in Adelaide airport in 1971-72 as a player on the Rest of the World team in Australia - he did not realize that this smallish man was Sir Donald Bradman - the Don did not identify himself but obliged for a few yards before embarrassed officials came and sorted out the situation!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

@Ashwin Jain You just stole the words out of my mouth! I am a mimicry artist and an actor! Thanks to Cricket and to such wonderful commentators... and Tony Greig was to me the best! Tony! R.I.P

Posted by 200ondebut on (December 30, 2012, 20:09 GMT)

Anytime he was commentating with "Fiery" was always a joy to listen to, The two together were just priceless.

Posted by AbhishekBanerjeePwC on (December 30, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

"whataplayaaa" is your patented catchphrase sir for Sachin Tendulkar during Desert Storm, that voice of yours still really brings chills to every Indian viewer to this day & doubled the enthusiasm in that night. Thanks for the memories sir, we the spectators would miss you in the commentators box. Rest In Peace

Posted by zameel786 on (December 30, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

As Sachin is to batting , Greg was for commentary, irrepairable loss to the world of Cricket

Posted by Johnsamuel1 on (December 30, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

''Its a huge huge six.'' His pronounsation of Anil kumble's name was also amusing.

Posted by Arul1317 on (December 30, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

during sharjah 1998 match prior to the final.. sachin scores 2 runs and Tony says "thats it. India have qualified for the finals." next ball sachin makes room on off, hits good length ball flat over cover and tony says: "what a shot!! oh what a shot... thats a great shot.....he is going for the victory, sachin tendulkar is going for the victory" ... "when the going gets tough tough gets going" on sachin for getting a fighting fifty during same match kind of reflecting batsman mood...which i liked in that match... RIP tony greig

Posted by Hitwicket99 on (December 30, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

WC 1996 Ind Vs SL group match in Delhi: Tony tells Sunny Gavaskar when Sanath was batting: "This is unbelievable. The match will be over in 15 overs"

Posted by FAB_ALI on (December 30, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

I really liked the way he addressed R Kaluwitharna. "Little Kalu"..... so sweet to hear.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

Tony Greig, the reason that made me watch cricket because I loved listening to your commentary which wasn't just entertaining, but educational. To a large extent, improved my language and knowledge of the game. I remember how I used to switch off to other channels on dull matches or for something more interesting in elsewhere and return after 30 minutes when as it'd be Tony Greig's turn to commentate. Such a Pull Anthony! The Murali first no ball episode when you and Ian Chappell were commentating caught my interest when you shared past experiences as much as views. The 'little kalu' chants. The Jayasuriya knock in singapore. The Tendulkar fiasco in Sharjah 98. Matches were 30% interesting because of the match itself, 30% because of the crowd and the remaining 40% is purely about how it's presented. You were 100% of that 40%. By far THE MOST ENTERTAINING COMMENTATOR EVER. You Rock - THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN VOICE

Posted by NZMahesh on (December 30, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

He call Sri Lankan opener kuluwitharan "little Kalu " and he is a strong supporter and excellent ambassador of Sri Lankan cricket.Some instance he is the lone voice of Sri Lankan cricket , specially during channel 9 commentary. May attain Nibana Tony.We miss you dearly.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

The world cricket will miss a great, unbias, truely efficient professional cricket commentator forever. Tony was not a prejudice minded person. He always gave due credit to best performers of the game. RIP.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 3:02 GMT)

"Whatta playa!!!" after Tendulkar hitting Kasprowicz for a straight six over the sight screen in the 1998 Desert Storm Series... Innings made memorable with Tony's legendary commentary...

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 30, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

I sadly never saw Tony Greig playing but I like others have heard him over the years. The best thing about Tony Greig was that he was courageous as a player as well as commentator. He never bowed to pressures and was not on any particular board's payroll. His comments during his MCC lecture were fentastic. I quote him 'We can huff and puff and have all sorts of external reports but many of the problems with ICC can be resolved by India accepting that the spirit of cricket is more important than generating billions of dollars and turning out multi-millionaire players and didn't try and influence its allies in how to vote". This shows integrity and charcter of the man. Very rare soul!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 2:51 GMT)

Tony Greig was a special friend to Sri Lankan cricket. We will miss him.

Posted by Hyderabadi_Nawab on (December 30, 2012, 0:38 GMT)

Here are a few more Greigisms..."In the air and....out!", "Oh good shot...take that Australia!", "What a wonderful player..."..just words that flood the memory when you think Tony Greig.

Posted by M4yur on (December 30, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

I can't believe you have missed.. Whaaaaaddddaaaa plaaaayyyyyaaaaaaaa!!!

That is the single most resounding comment from Tony that keeps coming to my mind every time I heard his voice..

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

During the 1996 WC group game vs india..when Sana was going ballistic on the indian bowlers...

Tony said : "Dont get depressed sunny"

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

During the 1996 wc final..when asanka gurusinghe hit shane warne for a six straight down the ground off the back foot...

"Gurusinghe has had his porridge !"

Posted by Sivaprem on (December 29, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTT20DkaYo8 Sachin Tendulkar is beginning to stamp himself on this match already, lovely shot. Tony Greig was half responsible for Tendulkar attaining a God like status. This is one of my favorite from the 2003 world cup league fixture against Australia.

Posted by rohitrh5 on (December 29, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

sad news to wake up to. here is another memorable one, when Akram ran into Merv Hughes - 'he's not a pretty sight when he's angry Merv, is he? he's not a pretty sight at the best of times.'


Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

We will really miss those wonderful words by this greatest cricket commentor for ever. Rest in peace Tony!

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

One of a kind character, great commentator----he will be missed. What a combination he made with Bill Lawry, Richie Benaud and Ian Chappel in that commentary room. My most favorite memory of him is " And the Pakis are out of their Seats" during the 1992 World Cup..

Posted by vineetkarthi on (December 29, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

Sachin played two special knocks in Sharjah in 1998 with memorable commentary in the background by Tony Greig. Will always remember him as the one commentator who know how to give it to the Australians in the commentary box with strong, independent comments. RIP.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

huge loss for cricket ..i listened ti him as a child and loved him over the years. will miss you great man. Respect

Posted by 10dulkaRulezz on (December 29, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

"Clean Bowled him, Neck and Crop!" When shoaib akhtak clean bowled NZ batsmen.


Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 29, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

One quote missing as a player:

'...If they're down, they grovel. And I intend, with the help of Closey, to make them grovel.'

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

Simply the best commentator ever!

Posted by Cric299 on (December 29, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

"That's it, he is going for a victory. This is unbelievable." and here is the beauty... "He is gone again, its all the way, its gone be caught, oh he's got him, Tendulkar is out, oh he's dropped him he's dropped him, its gone over the fence for four, well that is it I am sure now."

Posted by JohnKJ on (December 29, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

A true professional and a person who had the courage to say and stand by what he thought was right. He had no bias or prejudice when it comes to giving credit where it is due or making a constructive criticism. He was a captivating commentator from whom most of the current-day commentators can learn from. Cricket is certainly better because of you. It is said that good die first. We shall miss you dearly.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOaHv1GcVww 1:23 Greiggy in his signature builds up the hat-trick ball. and as the drama unfolds he makes us part of the action the only way he could.. "Oh h hh he's got him! Has he got him? Has he got him ? Hes going over the sq leg to celebrate!The calebration's on! Is he the first ever?"

Posted by sid80 on (December 29, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

My favourite is this one - " there is tendulkar, then there is daylight, then there is the rest" during the India Australia test series 2001. RIP Greig

Posted by mark2011 on (December 29, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

''He doesn't believe it, me does'nt wanna go... well that''s the way it is ...''

we never thought you would go so soon.....Tony

listen @ 7.05 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B_UTo5-P1o

Posted by mark2011 on (December 29, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Listen to this @ 0.17


and ''go on Kalu can we have five in a row..that the question?''... way back in1995 in Aus, when Kaluwitharana hit consecutive boundaries against Shane Warne...it shows how he loves Kalu's playing... check out @ 5.55


Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

Two quotes from the 2003 World Cup that to the best of my knowledge aren't available to view online...

"That's gone as high as I've ever seen a cricket ball go. "It's yours!" I'd be shouting if I was out there."

[Dicussing Kenya being in the semi-finals] "That would mean Kenya would play Australia, but with all due respect to Kenya; God forbid."

Posted by k3k3k3 on (December 29, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

I had the pleasure of shaking hands with this gentle giant = his paw could have easily crushed mine - in the lobby of the Perth Sheraton in Nov 1983. I had gone there to watch Pakistan play Aus at the old WACA. Greig was there in the lobby with Greg Chapell and Alan Border. He was surprised and amused, hesitated to write on it, when I gave him my passport for his autograph. He was laughing as I told him it was expired but attached to the valid one, this way it would stay with me for a long time. Stil have that passport with Chapell, Border, Lawson, Wayne Phillips and many other autographs in it from that trip. Rest in peace, Tony. We wil miss you.

Posted by jazzaaaaaaaa on (December 29, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

I remember in the 1999 World Cup final, Razzaq hit I think it was Paul Reiffel straight to McGrath at long off, and Greigy said "Oh that's in the air McGrath's getting underneath it goodnight that's all OHHH I can't believe it, I do not believe that, that is a straight forward lollypop catch and Glenn McGrath has dropped it".

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 29, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

"Whaddaplayyaaaa", when SRT hit those boundaries in Sharjah. There was this stand-up comedian once (forgot his name) who said that half of Tendulkar's success belongs to Tony Greig!! Funny, but kinda makes sense. So many of us watched that SRT Desert Storm innings on TV and still found it an exhilarating experience. We have to attribute some of it to Tony's commentary. He multiplied the 'wow' factor. It wouldn't have been the same if the commentary had been dull and lifeless. RIP, Tony.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

Oh Its in the Air, Its going for Six, Its a huge one, No its just fallen inside the boundary and they have Run 3....

Posted by jakigui on (December 29, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

''there r indian, there r arabs, there r sri lankans n englishmen everyone on their feet'' Sanath 189 sarjah. this one should also be there in this article.. RIP sir!!!

Posted by lillie_express on (December 29, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

Here we go...Fleming took the last one...Merv Hughes before him...OOOOW!! HES GOT HIM!! HAS HE CAUGHT HIM?!! YES HE HAS!! HES GOT HIM!! ITS A HAT-TRICK!! YES HE'S GONE!! HES GONE!! ITS A HAT-TRICK!! THATS A HAT-TRICK TO SHANE WARNE!! A great moment in his career. Whaaat a catch by David Boon!

Boyhood enthusiasm forever Greigy, we will miss you.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

The most memorable quote of his was "I will make them Grovel" to the West Indies team which was to tour in England i 1976. The rest as they say is History.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

another one from sharjah, Ganguly hit few sixes over mid wicket and he started calling it "Ganlulie's roof "

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

How about this one then?


Posted by Akhter786 on (December 29, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

Down the wicket he goes, oh hard n high, this is a huge six, what a shot!!!

he will be missed

Posted by Kak-mal_Khan on (December 29, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

Great loss - Great Cricketer - Great Commentator. As a Pakistani cricket fan, he fuelled my love for the game during the 1992 World Cup Final between Pakistan v England, with his remark as Pakistan charged towards victory "The Pakistani's are on fire!"

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

Greg's commentary in the final minutes of the greatest ODI of all time...

"What a victory! That is a sensational game of cricket! And it is a superb victory!... There are tears, they are crying out there...The South Africans in the bullring have seen the greatest one day international ever played." WELL SAID TONY

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

Straight down the ground, wonderful shot, all the way for six....What a player! what a wonderful player!!! These lines never be forgotten...

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

He said this once, and I couldn't forget it ever: "Two thirds of the world is covered with water and the rest by Jonty Rhodes." Will miss you Mr. Greig.

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