Legendary New Zealand cricketer Martin Crowe has passed away after a battle with cancer aged 53.
Crowe played 77 test matches for his country, averaging 45.65 and included 17 centuries. He also featured in 143 one day internationals with an average of 38.55.
He captained his country for 16 test matches during which period he oversaw two wins, seven draws and seven losses. He also led his nation in 44 one day internationals with a record of 21 wins and 22 losses.
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Crowe was seen as an innovative captain, especially in the short form of the game. At the 1992 World Cup, he took the bold step of opening the bowling with a spinner - a tactic which proved ground-breaking in their home conditions.
He was seen as a glorious shotmaker taking the attack right up to the bowlers. Shane Warne placed him number 23 in his 100 cricketers of all time, describing him as a “stylish and elegant player and able to pick up batting lengths very early.”
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He retired from the game at the age of 33, due to a chronic knee injury but he still holds the record for most centuries for a New Zealander, four more than current stars Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
The innovation that he showed on the cricket field, continued post-retirement when he and his brother Jeff designed a short format of the game called “Cricket Max” which was played in New Zealand throughout the 90’s, and set the scene for the introduction of 20/20 cricket in 2003.
Crowe’s love for the game was constant and in 2011 he floated the idea of a comeback to the game aged 49. He returned to his old club cricket side Cornwall, but after sustaining a number of niggling injuries had to put that idea to rest.
Crowe was initially diagnosed with lymphoma in October 2012 and despite announcing he was free of cancer in June of 2013, just over a year later it returned.
One of the highlights of his later life was when was inducted to ICC Hall of Fame in an emotional ceremony at Eden Park during the World Cup in 2015. He modestly said: “I don’t feel I truly belong but it is a great honour.”