On The Front Foot: MCC blazers finally recognise the trailblazer of modern game

At the home of cricket next Tuesday a rebel of the game will finally achieve a form of restoration.

Tony Greig, scourge of the establishment, will deliver this year's MCC Cowdrey Spirit of Cricket lecture at Lord's. It is 35 years since Greig, the captain of England, shocked the blazers by announcing that he was chief recruiting officer for the breakaway World Series Cricket. The recriminations and court cases rocked the game. Greig's status and position in the English game can hardly be overstated. Not only was he skipper but a genuine star, blond, 6ft 8in tall and charismatic. He was stripped of the captaincy, by the end of the seminal 1977 season his international career was over and he has never been forgiven. Nor has he ever had his due as an inspirational leader and fearsomely accomplished all-rounder who in Tests averaged 40.44 with the bat and 32.21 with the ball. The honour of delivering the 12th Spirit of Cricket Lecture is not before time. It has probably come now only because it was in the gift of Phillip Hodson, this year's MCC president and Greig's brother-in-law. It will be fascinating to hear if Greig alludes to his actions of 35 years ago which caused a schism. While it was widely felt that he had betrayed his position there is no doubt that World Series Cricket, set up by the Australian media mogul Kerry Packer in a row over broadcasting rights, led to vastly improved conditions for cricketers. Greig remains proud of this, not least because he pointed it out at the time. The MCC Lecture is hardly a homecoming but it is a rapprochement.

Wrong, what Fred said

Andrew Flintoff's unfortunate comments about his fellow Lancashire and England cricketer Michael Atherton were not wholly surprising. They have never exactly been soul-mates, though it is also true that the strength of Flintoff's criticism, several times referring to Atherton as a prick, was unexpected. Almost all comments on social networking sites supported Atherton, who has risen above the fray by declining to comment either on air or in print – he is a Sky commentator and cricket correspondent of The Times. Flintoff (pictured) stated and restated his opinion at a Sky gathering. But it has done his stock no good at all. He has all but withdrawn from the game that made him and this will hasten that process. It has been suggested that Flintoff may have been intimidated by Atherton's intellectual prowess but when the pair played chess years ago on tour it was Flintoff who prevailed.

Who needs neutral umpires?

The new ICC panel of elite umpires has been revealed. Nigel Llong's promotion gives England three on the list as he joins Ian Gould and Richard Kettleborough. There are three Australians, two Pakistanis, two New Zealanders and one from South Africa and Sri Lanka. Neutral umpires have undoubtedly been a success. But the day may not be far off when the concept is deemed to be outdated and the best umpires stand in any match.

Windies wind up in Florida

So farewell to West Indies after their 21st tour of England. It has not proceeded as well as was expected but they have new territories to conquer. They leave tomorrow for the US, where they will play two Twenty20s against New Zealand next weekend. Full houses are expected in Lauderhill, Florida, whence 17 per cent of residents emigrated from Jamaica.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
News
people
Life and Style
tech
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil