Tony Greig dies aged 66

Former England captain and prominent cricket pundit Tony Greig has died at the age of 66 after suffering a heart attack at his Sydney home on Saturday.

“In sad news, beloved Tony Greig, former England cricket captain has passed away today at the age of 66,” broadcaster Channel Nine, which employed Greig as a cricket commentator, said on Twitter.

“To his family and friends we pass on our best wishes.”

Greig, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in October, was taken to a Sydney hospital but died at about 1:45 pm (0245 GMT).

“The staff of the emergency department worked on Mr Greig to no avail,” a spokesman at St Vincent’s hospital told local media.

South Africa-born Greig, who played 58 tests for England, made his test debut against Australia in Manchester in 1972 and amassed 3,599 runs for an average of 40.43 until his last match at the Oval against the same opponents in 1977.

An imposing figure standing at 1.98 metres tall (6ft-6in), Greig was also a successful bowler with 141 test wickets at an average of 32.20.

Greig was stripped of the captaincy for his role in recruiting players for late Australian businessman Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket in the 1970s and his international career ended shortly after.

Greig, a long-time resident Down Under, became a summer fixture in Australian lounge-rooms as a cricket commentator for Packer’s Channel Nine since 1979, having been promised a “job for life” by the media mogul, among a number of other roles in the media.

“Our family wants to extend our gratitude for the support and condolences we have received and would ask for privacy at this very sad time,” his wife Vivian said in a statement.

Greig leaves behind two daughters and two sons.