ESPNCricinfo: Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, writer, broadcaster and mentor, has died in Auckland at the age of 53.
Crowe had suffered from lymphoma since 2012, and withdrew from public life in his final months.
“It is with heavy hearts that the family of Martin Crowe, MBE advise his death,” his family said in a statement. “Diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal double hit lymphoma he passed away peacefully today, Thursday 3 March in Auckland surrounded by family. The family request privacy at this time.”
Widely considered the finest batsman in New Zealand cricket’s history, Crowe debuted against Australia aged 19 in 1982, and quickly established a reputation as the most meticulous of batsmen, his technique widely admired.
In all he would tally a New Zealand record 17 Test centuries, including an innings of 299 against Sri Lanka in Wellington that also stood as the national record until Brendon McCullum overtook it, also at the Basin Reserve.
Arguably Crowe’s finest month was his inventive and inspirational leadership of New Zealand during the 1992 World Cup, when he took an unfancied side to the top of the competition table before a narrow defeat to eventual champions Pakistan in the semi-final at Eden Park. This performance confounded many, not least the co-hosts Australia who were completely overshadowed by Crowe’s tactics and skill during the opening match of the tournament.
Knee problems were to curtail Crowe thereafter, and he retired from the game in 1995, aged only 33. His post-playing life was to be equally rich and constructive.
He worked often as a television commentator, and was also visionary in his invention of a third format for the game, Cricket Max, that served as a precursor to Twenty20.
One of his last public appearances would take place in April, when he delivered a typically articulate and heartfelt tribute to the retiring Daniel Vettori.