New Zealand cricket legend Martin Crowe has died

Photo: Hannah Peters/ Getty Images.

New Zealand cricket great Martin Crowe has died in Auckland surrounded by family, aged 53.

Crowe’s death has come after a long battle with cancer. He was diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal Lymphoma.

Crowe is survived by wife Lorraine Downes, daughter Emma and step-children Hilton and Jasmine.

“It is with heavy hearts that the family of Martin Crowe, MBE advise his death,” his family said in a statement. “The family request privacy at this time.”

The right-handed batsman played 77 tests and 143 one-day internationals for New Zealand.

He scored 5444 test runs at an average of 45.36, including 17 centuries and 18 half centuries. His top score was 299.

Crowe’s ODI runs totalled 4704 at an average of 38.55 with four centuries and 34 half centuries and a best score of 107 not out.

Aside from New Zealand, Crowe played first class cricket for Auckland, Central Districts, Somerset and Wellington.

Gifted with rare ability that was combined with elegance and determination, Crowe is acknowledged as New Zealand’s finest ever batsman.

With his mix of power and poise, Crowe became an effortless accumulator of runs in test and one-day cricket, quickly turning schoolboy promise into world class performance.

His passion and cricketing brain made him a natural leader though his personal excellence sometimes left him frustratingly isolated.

Crowe’s innovative thinking also found a worthy platform in various forms of media when his playing career was cruelly ended prematurely by a persistent knee injury.

Crowe’s understanding of cricket was unparalleled, but his perception was often unappreciated.

Delighted to star in a game built on such strong traditions, he was always eager to push the boundaries.

Crowe was an undoubted star of the 1992 World Cup on home soil with his blazing bat and innovative captaincy helping New Zealand to an unexpected run of victories that united an increasingly captivated nation. But the run ended in a semifinal defeat to Pakistan that remained Crowe’s most painful memory.

Crowe injured a hamstring as he scored a brilliant 91 and couldn’t take the field for the Pakistan innings. Without his leadership New Zealand’s bowling and fielding effort finally wilted.

Crowe recalled the desolation: “I sat on the edge of my chair, leg braced and bound, and I wept. The dressing room scene was indescribable.

Then we had to tour the ground and acknowledge the support of a nation whose hearts we had won. It was a choking, breathtaking experience. It was unforgettable and it was devastating. It was cricket in the broadest canvas”.

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