FORMER England Test cricketer and Channel Nine commentator Tony Greig has revealed he has been diagnosed with a form of lung cancer and needs to have a biopsy later this week to gauge the extent of the cancer and what treatment would be required.
Greig, who was a driving force for the formation of Kerry Packer’s rebel World Series Cricket competition in the late 1970s, realised he had something wrong with him when he commentated during the recent Australia-Pakistan one-day series staged in Dubai.
The 66-year-old was initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May but he became concerned when the condition didn’t improve, according to a News Ltd report. Doctors discovered a small lesion on the base of his right lung earlier this month. He had an excessive amount of fluid removed from the lung a fortnight ago and tests revealed he had lung cancer. The South African-born Greig vowed to fight the cancer.
A Channel Nine spokesperson told The Sun-Herald it was too early to say how the cancer would affect Greig’s role as a commentator for the summer of cricket which begins next month when Australia plays his native South Africa in Brisbane.
Former Australian keeper Ian Healy said his commentary colleague would provide a worthy adversary for cancer.
"We are still at the fingers crossed stage. I knew he was crook. I knew he came home from Sri Lanka early [from commentating] and went and had some tests,’’ Healy said.
‘‘Everyone just thought that it was probably a flu or pneumonia type of thing but that’s not good at all. It’s terrible but one thing he is though is tough so Greigy is a better chances than anyone to get through it.
‘‘On the field, off the field he has got so much to fight for too. He has got a lovely family so he will have great support and certainly no shortage of it from us.’’
Greig became a cult figure in his adopted homeland over the years thanks to a series of television commercials that plugged everything from insurance to breakfast cereal. His accent was mimicked by comedians and he’s famous for putting his car key into cricket pitches around the world to gauge how the pitch was holding up. His trademark wide-brimmed hat helped to highlight the dangers of developing skin cancer in the unrelenting Australian sun.
He was on the outer with the MCC for his role in WSC, but his being asked to deliver the prestigious Cowdrey Spirit of Cricket lecture at Lord’s last June was seen as a sign time had mended the old wounds.
Read more: Tony Greig reveals cancer diagnosis