Former England captain Tony Greig dies

Sydney, Dec 29 (IANS) Former Engand cricket captain Tony Greig died here Saturday after suffering a heart attack. He was 66.

"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 was quoted as saying by The Age.

Greig, a Channel Nine commentator, was suffering from lung cancer since October. The lung cancer was detected during Australia's one-day series against Pakistan in Dubai in August and September.

Greig was initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May. But his condition deteriorated and by the time the World Twenty20 finished in Sri Lanka in October, small lesions were detected at the base of his right lung. After he returned to Australia, Greig underwent treatment and fluid was removed from the right lung.

"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...and more than three decades of colourful and expert commentary," a Channel Nine statement said.

A South African by birth, Greig qualified to play cricket for England because of his Scottish parents. As a teenager he trialed for Sussex in 1965. He played 58 Tests between 1972 and 1977.

He made his Test debut against Australia at Old Trafford in 1972 and struck half-centuries in both innings and taking five wickets for the game. He made his debut as a Test captain against Australia in 1975.

Greig became a controversial figure due to his close relationship with Australian businessman Kerry Packer. Greig was instrumental in recruiting players for the break away World Series Cricket that ended his international career.

Greig was a formidable Test all-rounder. He has scored 3,599 runs at an average of 40.43 including eight centuries, and 141 wickets at an average of 32.20, best being 8-86.

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