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Cricket 'has lost part of its DNA'
WWOS staff
17:30 AEST Sat Dec 29 2012

The Nine Network has lost part of its extensive cricketing DNA with the passing of Tony Greig, Nine Entertainment Company CEO David Gyngell said.

The former England captain and cricket commentator died this afternoon after suffering a heart attack. He was 66.

“It’s a deeply upsetting time for his family and for everyone associated with Tony at Nine, and indeed for many, many others who came to know and love the man," Mr Gyngell said.

"Tony has been part of Nine’s commentary team since 1979. He’s not only been part of our family, but he’s had a seat at the head of the table."

Vivian Greig confirmed that Tony had passed away after a battle with cancer.

“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," she said.

Tony Greig was a veteran of 58 Tests for England, fourteen of them as Captain, including the famous Centenary test against Australia in 1977.

Mr Gyngell said Greig had made a remarkable transition in the Australian cricketing culture from foe to friend.

“He’s been a great bloke – one of the terrific characters of the game both as a player and then a commentator, never short of an opinion but always a generous man with a big heart. You just cannot say fairer than that.

“He will be sadly missed, and our special thoughts go out to Vivian, and Tony’s daughters Samantha and Beau, and sons Mark and Tom."

Mr Gyngell said Richie Benaud had conveyed the sad news to Tony Greig’s fellow commentators, in particular his dear friend and old sparring partner Bill Lawry.