Ex-England cricket skipper Tony Greig dies in hospital following heart attack

Last Updated: 29/12/12 2:58pm

Tony Greig, the former England cricket captain and television commentator, has died at the age of 66 at a hospital in Sydney.

The South Africa-born all-rounder, who moved to England and played for Sussex, suffered a heart attack at home and was rushed to hospital where he died at 1.45pm local time.

Greig played 58 Tests for England between 1972 and 1977, scoring eight centuries and 3,599 runs at an average of 40.43, while also taking 141 wickets.

He had been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier in the year and a statement from Australian television network Channel Nine, for whom he had commentated the last 33 years, read: "Beloved Tony Greig has passed away at the age of 66.

"Initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, the condition lingered and testing revealed he had lung cancer.

"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."

David Richardson

"His name is 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."

The Sydney Morning Herald added: "He was rushed into St Vincent's hospital. The staff of the emergency department worked on Mr Greig but to no avail."

Australia's current captain Michael Clarke told the website cricket.com.au: "I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating.

"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."

Chairman of Cricket Australia Wally Edwards added: "He was a combative on-field rival of Australian cricket but became one of Australian cricket's firmest friends, with his long-running role as a commentator making him an Australian household name."

Greig, a middle-order batsman and medium-fast seamer, made his Test debut against Australia in 1972 at Old Trafford before taking over the captaincy in 1975.

He was stripped of the skipper's role in the spring of 1977 when he revealed he was to become a key part of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.

Greig, who also played in 22 one-day internationals, made his final Test appearance at The Oval in August 1977 and eventually emigrated Down Under.

Significant part

ICC chief executive David Richardson has expressed his sadness on hearing the news of Greig's passing.

In an ICC statement, Richardson said: "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."