Australian Cricketers' Association President Greg Dyer has paid tribute to former Australian captain Ian Craig, who died aged 79.
Craig represented NSW at the tender age of 16 to become the youngest state cricketer, and then the youngest Australian player at 17. Famously, the right-hander was also Australia's youngest men's captain at 22.
Mr Dyer said: "It's with sadness that we reflect on the passing of Ian Craig - a wonderful talent who left the game at age 26 having accomplished many great things.
"On behalf of the members, Executive and staff of the Australian Cricketers' Association, I offer our sincere condolences to Ian's friends, former team mates and family - particularly his wife Ross and children Andrew, Jonathan and Alex.
"By today's standards, Ian both started and finished his career incredibly young, highlighting a maturity beyond his years and the ability to be a fine and adaptable leader. As a Test captain he helped restore credibility to a team going through a challenging period, and as New South Wales skipper he lost only twice in 48 first-class matches.
"Like so many who played prior to cricket emerging as a viable professional option, Ian retired from the game's top level so he could pursue a working career beyond the field. Thankfully players of today's era can play their cricket largely free of these sort of concerns, and more work than ever is being done to help prepare them for their transition out of the game. We all owe much to Ian and his generation. Vale Ian Craig."
Following his retirement from first-class cricket, Craig maintained an enduring passion for the game, playing Grade cricket into his early thirties and giving strong service as a board member of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and the Bradman Foundation.