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Cricket | More Cricket

Tony Greig diagnosed with lung cancer



Former England cricket captain Tony Greig, who made his name as a TV commentator after a controversial playing career, has revealed he is suffering from lung cancer.

Greig, initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, told Australia's Sunday Telegraph newspaper he would undergo surgery in Sydney this week to assess the extent of the disease.

Now a commentator for Australian TV, Greig said he first became aware of a serious problem during Australia's matches against Pakistan in the Middle East in August and September. Tests revealed a lesion at the base of his right lung.

"I have had a few scrapes in my life and this is another one," South African-born Greig, 66, told the Sunday Telegraph.

"Vivian (his wife) and I are going to put the boxing gloves on and fight this like we've never fought anything before."

Greig said his commentating commitments with Nine network television for the Australian summer series were "totally up in the air" adding that "my priority, 100 percent, is my family. They will come first."

Greig courted controversy throughout his cricket career, famously prompting a storm of criticism when he promised to make the West Indies "grovel" ahead of their 1976 tour of England, evoking the spectre of slavery.

He was instrumental in the formation of late Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer's breakaway World Series Cricket contest staged between 1977-79 which sent shockwaves through the sport and tarred the final days of Greig's career.

Greig secured the signings of a number of English and other foreign players to the rebel cricket series, launched in response to the Australian Cricket Board's refusal to give Packer's Nine Network exclusive test broadcast rights.

The World Series featured stars such as Dennis Lillee, Imran Khan, Greg and Ian Chappell, Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd and left a lasting legacy on the game, including improved rewards for players.

Australia coach Mickey Arthur, a fellow South African, tweeted: "Get well soon Tony Greig – thoughts are with you."

Former Australia keeper Ian Healy, who commentates on Nine with Greig, said things were "still at the fingers-crossed stage."

"It's terrible, but one thing he is though is tough, said Healy, according to the Sun-Herald newspaper

Nine boss David Gyngell said Greig, known for his wide-brimmed hat and habit of testing the quality of pitches across the globe by sticking his car keys into the surface, was a "larger-than-life, generous and inherently decent man".

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