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Kiwi cricket legend Martin Crowe dies aged 53

The sport star was regarded as a hugely talented batsman.
Martin Crowe

Martin Crowe has died aged 53

New Zealand cricketing legend Martin Crowe has passed away today, after a long battle with Lymphoma.

The 53-year-old Kiwi was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September 2014, facing his illness courageously for a year and half.

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

In a statement from his family, they said: “It is with heavy hearts that the family of Martin Crowe, MBE advise his death.”

They confirmed he died “peacefully today surrounded by family.”

Fans tweeted their sadness at Martin’s death

Crowe, who had a hugely successful cricketing career until his retirement at 33, was initially diagnosed with cancer in 2012, but went into remission a year later.

Sadly when the disease returned in 2014 it was terminal.

“Over the last few months my cancer turned from being in sleepy remission to transforming into a new monster, much like a bull in a china tea shop,” he wrote in an online column.

“No longer was ‘it’ a friend, as I had first described follicular lymphoma to be, in 2012.”

The return of Crowe’s cancer was a cruel blow to his family. He and former Miss Universe Lorraine married in a stunning beach-side ceremony on Valentine’s Day in 2005, reconnecting years after an ill-fated first date.

After beating the disease the first time, the pair spoke to the New Zealand Women’s Weekly about how the health battle had strengthened their relationship.

“It was difficult for me to watch how the chemo affected Marty,” Downes said at the time.

“But one of the good things that came out of it was knowing in my heart that my love for him was so real.”

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Crowe said the cancer made him confront his emotional issues head-on and start making some changes.

“Getting sick made me realise I had to find some self-acceptance and change a lot of things about myself that had made me sick,” he said.

“Lorraine had always talked about the importance of being true to yourself and keeping things real, and I needed to do that.

“Without my love for Lorraine and the strength of our relationship I wouldn’t have had that example to emulate.”

Over the course of an illustrious cricket career, Martin became renowned as one of the country’s greatest ever test batsmen. He was named New Zealand Sportsman of the Year in 1991 and was later honoured with an MBE for his services to the sport. In 2015 he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Twitter users have reacted with sadness at the news of Crowe’s death, including his cousin, Hollywood actor Russell Crowe.

“My champion, my hero, my friend. I will love you forever. RIP M.D.Crowe,” the star tweeted.

Jesse Ryder tweeted: “Sad news hearing that Martin Crowe has passed away. RIP Hogan” while former Black Caps captain, Stephen Fleming wrote: “Very sad to hear of the passing of martin crowe this morning. An inspiration to me and so many others. One of our true greats. RIP hogan”.

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