Martin Crowe diagnosed with cancer

The former NZ captain's family recently discovered his ailment

Martin CroweNew Zealand batting legend and former captain Martin Crowe, who recently turned 50, has been diagnosed lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, his manager announced today.

“The diagnosis is very new,” the manager Lousie Henderson said. “The family is still in shock and dealing with the understanding that life as they know it for the unforeseeable future is different.”

“They have a number of issues to confront over the next couple of weeks.”

Crowe, who played 77 Tests and 143 ODIs for New Zealand, is widely regarded as the country’s finest batsman. He started his international career at a young age of 19 in 1982 against Australia, and made a big impression at the World Cup in England next year.

His breakthrough Test innings was the 188 against the West Indies in 1985 in Georgetown. Coming against an attack that had Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner and Michael Holding, the innings set Crowe aside in a team with players of lesser skill.

Crowe's presence alongside Richard Hadlee made New Zealand a formidable team. In the same year, Crowe made another 188 in the Brisbane Test, which New Zealand won with Hadlee taking 15 wickets in the game.

Crowe has 17 Test hundreds and a highest Test score of 299 against Sri Lanka in 1991, both New Zealand records. Severe knee injuries cut his career short in 1996 months after he had staged his international comeback on the tour of India in the winter of 1995.

In 2011, he had briefly flirted with the idea of returning to First Class cricket. His first step towards the goal – playing club cricket – didn’t go so well when he retired hurt with a thigh injury.

One of the highlights of Crowe’s career was leading New Zealand to the semifinal of the 1992 World Cup at home. Crowe’s tactics of opening the bowling with off-spinner Jeetan Patel and asking his opening batsmen Mark Greatbatch to exploit the fielding restrictions are part of cricket folklore.

New Zealand lost to Pakistan in the semifinal, thanks to a rampaging Inzamam-ul Haq, who would later list Crowe along with Vivian Richards and Ricky Ponting as the best batsmen he had seen.

His father Dave played First Class cricket, while elder brother Jeff also played 39 Tests and 75 ODIs and is currently a match referee for the ICC. Jeff and Martin’s cousin Russell Crowe is the famous actor. Martin is married to former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes.


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