Former England cricket captain and TV commentator Tony Greig dies of a heart attack at 66South African-born star was diagnosed with lung cancer two months agoHe told colleagues, 'It's not good, it's a case of what they can do'Greig played for England in 58 tests before quitting to join breakaway series
19:00 GMT, 29 December 2012
Former England captain and television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66
Former England cricket captain and television commentator Tony Greig has died of a heart attack at the age of 66.
The South African-born all-rounder was diagnosed with lung cancer two months ago.
Greig played 58 Tests for England – 14 of them as skipper – before quitting the team to join Australian tycoon Kerry Packer's breakaway World Series.
He was initially diagnosed with
bronchitis seven months ago, but underwent surgery last month after
further tests showed a lesion at the base of his right lung.
Greig died at around 1:45pm local time today after being rushed from his home to Sydney's St Vincent's
Hospital earlier, according to Australian broadcaster Channel Nine, for whom Greig worked.
He was quoted as having told Channel Nine colleagues last month: 'It's
not good. The truth is I've got lung cancer. Now it's a case of what
they can do.'
reported that in October he tweeted: 'Thanks to all of you who have sent
me good wishes for a recovery. With your prayers and the help of my
family I will give it my best shot.'
On Christmas Day he posted the
message: 'Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year
to you all. Would love to be at Test but son Tom and I will be tuned
A Channel Nine statement read: 'Beloved Tony Greig, former England cricket captain, has passed away today at the age of 66.
All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20
Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972
Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977
'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.
'To his family and friends we pass on our best wishes.'
Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997
Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003
Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney
Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20.
Greig, a right-handed middle-order batsman and medium-fast seamer, made his Test debut for England against Australia in 1972, and captained the national team from 1975-1977 after succeeding Mike Denness as skipper.
He lived in Sydney from the late 1970s and commentated for Channel Nine for 33 years.
WORLD OF CRICKET UNITES TO PAY TRIBUTE TO GREIG
England opener, Nick Compton: 'Sad day – RIP Tony Greig a fantastic player and a good man, loved his commentary was one of the best! Cricket world will miss u.'
Legendary Aussie fast bowler, Brett Lee: 'OMG Poor Tony Greig. I feel so sad and shocked right now. Can't believe it.'
England wicketkeeper, Matt Prior: '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.'
England all-rounder, Luke Wright: 'Gutted to hear that Tony Greig has passed away. A legend on and off the field. Our thoughts are with his family and friends #RIPGreigy.'
Australia captain Michael Clarke on www.cricket.com.au: 'I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating.
“Tony has a long and decorated history with international cricket both as a player and commentator and cricket will be much poorer for his loss.
“Personally, he has also been a great mentor for me, providing great advice through the good times and the bad.'
Former Australian paceman Glen McGrath: My thoughts are with Tony Greig's family today. RIP Tony Greig'
Long-serving Nine Network cricket commentator and former Australia captain Richie Benaud recalled Greig's 'fearless' reaction to the English public following his decision to join the Packer team in 1977.
'There was an enormous amount of pressure on him,' Benaud told the Sydney Morning Herald.
'He was captain of England at the time and played against Australia at Lord's. The English people turned against him.
'He wasn't just a fearless cricketer but a fearless thinker as well. He would not just jump in boots first, but it wouldn't matter how much pressure it put on him, he would stick with it.'
Former Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee told the same publication: 'Tony was a tough opponent who took on all opposition with aggression and a determination to win.
'We will not forget the way he stirred the viewers in a similar vein to the way he did to opposition teams.'
ICC chief executive David Richardson: 'This is extremely sad news for cricket and the ICC send their condolences to Tony's family and in particular his wife Vivian.
'Tony played a significant part in shaping modern cricket as a player in the 1970s and then provided millions of cricket lovers with a unique insight as a thoughtful and knowledgeable commentator – primarily for the Nine Network in Australia.
'I met with him on several occasions during the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka where he was a senior commentator for our broadcast partner ESS.
'He was also a regular visitor to the ICC offices in Dubai when commentating for Ten Sports.
'I am sure that I will not be alone in saying that he and his wise words will be missed by cricketers, administrators and spectators around the world.
'His figures in Test matches show that he was one of the leading all-rounders of his generation with a batting average of above 40 and a bowling average around 32.'