Former England captain Tony Greig has been diagnosed with a form of lung cancer, according to a report in Australia's Sunday Telegraph. The paper reports that South African-born Greig will enter hospital this week for surgery to take a sample from his lung which will allow doctors to properly diagnose the extent of the cancer and decide on treatment.
“I have had a few scrapes in my life and this is another one,” Greig told the paper. “Vivian (his wife) and I are going to put the boxing gloves on and fight this like we’ve never fought anything before.” The paper reports that Greig, 66, first became aware he had a problem during Australia's one-day series against Pakistan in Dubai in August and September, on which he was commentating.
Initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, the condition lingered and, by the time of the ICC World Twenty20 that finished in Sri Lanka earlier this month, Greig had tests that revealed a small lesion at the base of his right lung. On his return to Australia a fortnight ago, he had fluid removed from the right lung. Testing revealed he had lung cancer. Greig, a right-handed middle-order batsman and medium-fast seamer, made his Test debut for England against Australia in 1972 and scored 3,599 Test runs, including eight centuries, and took 141 wickets.
He replaced Mike Denness as England captain in the summer of 1975 and captained England from 1975-77 before defecting to be one of the spearheads of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket. Greig has lived in Sydney since the late 1970s and has commentated on cricket for Channel Nine for 33 years, with the quartet of he, Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell and Richie Benaud becoming the voices of the Australian summer.
He is unsure if he will commentate for Channel Nine during the upcoming summer, which begins with a Test against South Africa in Brisbane on
November 9. “At this stage, the summer is totally up in the air,” Greig said. “My priority, 100 per cent, is my family. They will come first.”