New Zealand cricket legend Martin Crowe has died, aged 53, after a lengthy battle with lymphoma.
Crowe, widely recognised as New Zealand’s greatest-ever batsman, has been undergoing treatment for cancer since first being diagnosed in 2012.
Despite claiming the 2015 World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia would likely be the last cricket match he saw, Crowe eventually succumbed to the illness this morning.
“It is with heavy hearts that the family of Martin Crowe, MBE advise his death,” Crowe’s family said in a statement.
“Diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal double hit lymphoma he passed away peacefully today, Thursday 3rd March in Auckland surrounded by family.
“The family request privacy at this time.”
Crowe made his Test debut in 1982 at just 19 against Australia, but failed to reach double figures in any of his first six innings.
But the class of Crowe would quickly become evident as the Black Caps icon amassed 17 Test centuries across a 77-Test, 13-year career at the top of the game.
His highest Test score of 299 at the Basin Reserve stood as a New Zealand record until recently-retired Brendon McCullum bested it by three runs at the same venue 23 years later.
He was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in February 2015, and was awarded an MBE in 1991.
Crowe continued his involvement in cricket, both as a commentator and as a coach, and briefly attempted a first class comeback at the age of 49.
He opted to steer clear of chemotherapy and opted for natural treatments even as his lymphoma worsened, but ended a brave innings this morning.
Crowe admitted in March 2015 that the World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand would possibly be the last match of cricket he would see.
In a first-class career that also saw him play for Auckland, Central Districts, Somerset and Wellington, he notched 71 hundreds.
Once retired, he worked in the media and was known as an insightful writer and commentator.