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Tony Greig Dies

December 29, 2012 by  

Tony Greig Dies, Tony Greig, the South Africa-born cricketer who became England captain and later continued to make his mark on the game as a revered commentator in Australia, died on Saturday of a heart attack as he battled what appeared to be incurable lung cancer.

The Sydney-based Greig, 66, 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.

On Saturday, he suffered a heart attack at his Sydney home.

“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.

Upon his return to Australia from the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka, he had fluid removed from the right lung and testing revealed the cancer.

His wife, Vivian, said on Saturday: “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.”

A confident and occasionally abrasive character, Greig revelled in the on-field contest and at times stirring up crowds, such as during the 1974-75 Ashes series.

Standing 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. He played 58 Tests for England -14 as captain – and scored 3,599 runs at an average of 40.43 and took 141 wickets at 32.20.

“He was a giant of a man who played a major role in the changing face of cricket during the 1970s,” said David Collier, the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“He will be much missed in cricketing circles both in this country and around the world and we send our sympathies and condolences to Vivian and his family.”

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