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Former England cricket captain Tony Greig passes away

Former England cricket captain Tony Greig passes away

THE former England cricket captain Tony Greig has passed away. He was 66.

The all-rounder was born in South Africa but qualified for England through his parents. He played for England between 1972 and 1977 during which time he competed in 58 tests, 14 as captain.

In 1976, Mr. Greig faced criticism after announcing that he intended to make the West Indies side “grovel” in that year’s test in England — the visitors went on to win the series 3-0.

During his Test career he scored 3,599 runs at an average of 40.43, and took 141 wickets at an average of 32.20. As captain, he recorded three wins, six draws and five defeats.

He played county cricket for Sussex and was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1975.

Mr. Greig gave up the England captaincy to join Kerry Packer’s breakaway World Series in 1977. The initiative by the Australian media magnate was highly controversial with a number of top players who joined the set up being banned from representing their countries.

But the World Series, which ran for two years and offered players much higher salaries than the traditional test cricket system, was to force the cricket establishment to embrace change.

Mr. Greig remained in Australia where he became a popular television commentator.

He had recently been receiving treatment for lung cancer, but he passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home in Sydney.

Former Australian captain Bill Lawry, who commentated alongside Mr. Greig for many years, paid tribute to his old friend. He said: “Tony was well known right throughout the world. He was well loved and respected. World cricket has lost one of its great ambassadors.”

The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, also paid tribute. She said: “Tony Greig devoted every ounce of his professional life to cricket, and the sport is much greater for his enormous contribution.”

To view a recent interview with Tony Greig, click here.

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