Former England captain Tony Greig dies

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 02, 2013 18:01 hrs

Former England cricket captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig, who was diagnosed with lung cancer died after suffering a heart attack here on Saturday. He was 66.

Greig was taken to Sydney´s St Vincent´s Hospital from his home on Saturday.

"He was rushed into St Vincent's hospital. The staff of the emergency department worked on Mr Greig to no avail," St Vincent's spokesman David Faktor told The Sydney Morning Herald.

In a statement, Greig´s 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."

Greig was diagnosed with lung cancer in October this year.

"Initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, the condition lingered and, by the time of the ICC World Twenty20 that finished in Sri Lanka in October, Greig had tests that revealed a small lesion at the base of his right lung," The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

"On his return to Australia he had fluid removed from the right lung and testing revealed he had lung cancer," the report said.

Born in South Africa, Greig qualified to play for England by virtue of his Scottish parentage. He was the captain of England from 1975 to 1977.

In his career, he played 58 Tests for England between 1972 and 1977.

Greig scored 3,599 runs at an average of 40.43. He hit eight centuries with a highest score of 148 runs in his career.

The 6 feet 6 inches all rounder also scalped 141 wickets at an average of 32.20.

He also played 22 One Day International (ODI) matches for England.

He had dragged himself into controversy when he helped late Australian businessman Kerry Packer to start World Series Cricket by signing up many of his English colleagues as well as West Indian and Pakistani cricketers. It was a move that cost him the England captaincy.

Channel Nine, that employed Greig as a cricket commentator, said in a statement: "Tony Greig is a name synonymous with Australian cricket - from his playing days as the English captain we loved to hate, to his senior role in the revolution of World Series Cricket, his infamous car keys in the pitch reports and more than three decades of colourful and expert commentary."

Nine Entertainment Company CEO David Gyngell said: "It's a deeply upsetting time for his family and for everyone associated with Tony at Nine, and indeed for many, many others who came to know and love the man."

"Tony has been part of Nine's commentary team since 1979. He's not only been part of our family, but he's had a seat at the head of the table," he said.

The cricket world also mourned the death of the cricketer who had captained England in 14 Test matches as they posted their feelings on micro-blogging site Twitter.

England cricketer Matt Prior tweeted: "Can´t believe one of my heroes Tony Greig has passed away. One of the greatest voices in cricket and will be sorely missed. #RIPGreigy."

Former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath said: "My thoughts are with Tony Greig´s family today. RIP Tony Greig :("

Australia coach Mickey Arthur tweeted: "RIP-Tony Greig.A very good man!"

Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore said: "Just landed in chennai and learnt of Tony Greig´s passing. Deepest sympathies to his family. Great man, great career. He will be missed."

Reacting to Greig´s death, Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar tweeted: "Still recovering from the news of Tony Greig passing away...absolutely shocking !!"

South African cricketer Jacques Kallis posted: "RIP Tony Greig. Very sad news."

West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara reacted: "RIP Tony Greig!! You have left a great footprint on the world of cricket. My condolences to the Greig family."

South African cricketer Graeme Smith tweeted: "So sad & shocked to hear about tony Grieg thoughts are with his family and friends! Rip tony."

Cricketer Brett Lee said: "OMG Poor Tony Greig. I feel so sad and shocked right now. Can´t believe it."

Former Australian cricketer Tom Moody tweeted: "Saddened to hear the passing away of Tony Greig, RIP. Great commentator, mentor, player & friend will be missed by the cricketing family."

English spinner Monty Panesar said: "Sad and shocked to hear news #RIPtonygreig his commentary will be missed my thoughts are with his family. A true sussex legend."

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