A confident and occasionally abrasive character, Tony Greig revelled in the on-field contest and at times stirring up crowds, such as during the 1974-75 Ashes series.
At 6-foot-6 with a shock of blond hair, Greig was an imposing and charismatic figure whose strong performances and ability to bond the team earned him the England captaincy.
But he was stripped of the honour after emerging as a key figure in recruiting international players for Kerry Packer's anti-establishment World Series Cricket, which began in 1977.
Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard made reference to his controversial nature in a tribute to the "adopted Aussie":
Tony Greig was a wonderful example of someone who came to Australia from somewhere else in the world and embraced his adopted country as his own ... his life in cricket wasn't always without controversy, but no one could doubt his passion and commitment to the sport he loved.
Current England cricket internationals Matt Prior and Nick Compton have paid tribute to the team's former captain Tony Greig.
Sad day - RIP Tony Greig a fantastic player and a good man, loved his commentary was one of the best! Cricket world will miss uFrom @thecompdog on Twitter:
The South African-born Greig went on to become an institution in Australian sporting life as a commentator after joining the country's Nine Network in the 1980s.
Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath led tributes to the broadcaster.
Former England cricket captain Tony Greig suffered a heart attack at his Sydney home.
He was initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, but the condition lingered and in October he had tests that revealed a small lesion at the base of his right lung.
"He was rushed into St Vincent's Hospital. The staff of the emergency department worked on Mr. Greig to no avail," hospital spokesman David Faktort said.
His wife, Vivian, said: "Our family wants to extend our gratitude for the support and condolences we have received and would ask for privacy at this very sad time."
Former England captain and cricket commentator Tony Greig has died after being diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year. He was 66.