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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Tony Greig passes away after losing battle to lung cancer

Tony Greig passes away after losing battle to lung cancer

Last updated on: December 29, 2012 11:04 IST

Former England captain and celebrated commentator Tony Greig passed away after losing his battle with lung cancer in Sydney on Saturday. Greig was 66.

He breathed his last at a hospital after being brought in a "critical condition". He was diagnosed with lung cancer in October this year after undergoing treatment for what was initially thought to be bronchitis in May.

He underwent tests after the World Twenty20 Championships in Sri Lanka and it was revealed that there was a small lesion at the base of his right lung.

"On his return to Australia he had fluid removed from the right lung and testing revealed he had lung cancer," the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Tony GreigGreig's son Mark told a newspaper that his father's cancer had progressed to "stage four". While commentating during the coverage of the first Australia-South Africa in November, Greig spoke about the disease.

"It's not good. The truth is I've got lung cancer. Now it's a case of what they can do," Greig had said.

Born in Queenstown, South Africa, Greig qualified to play for England due to his Scottish parentage. His father was a Scot.

In his 58-match Test career, Greig scored 3,599 runs and picked up 141 wickets. In 22 ODIs that he played, Greig scored 269 runs and managed 19 wickets.

Greig was a leading international all-rounder for England. Considered a controversial figure, he helped Kerry Packer start the World Series Cricket by signing up many English as well as some West Indian and Pakistani cricketers.

The move ended up costing him England's captaincy.

The best performance of Greig's captaincy career came in 1976-77, when England toured India for a five-Test series.

The team had not won there for 15 years but went on to score one of their most convincing triumphs when they clinched the first three Tests by huge margins. 

Greig turned into a successful commentator following the end of his playing career in 1977 and was forthright with his views. He was one of the most bitter critics of BCCI's opposition to the Decision Review System.

Photograph: Paul McConnell/Getty Images

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