Pioneering cricketer Martin Crowe, widely acknowledged as New Zealand’s greatest batsman who laid the foundations for Twenty20 cricket, was hailed a “hero” Thursday after he died of cancer aged 53.
Diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal double-hit lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer, he passed away in Auckland surrounded by family.
Here are some of the reactions:
“My champion, my hero, my friend. I will love you forever. RIP” — Actor Russell Crowe, Martin Crowe’s New Zealand-born cousin.
“Very sad to hear of the passing of Martin Crowe this morning. An inspiration to me and so many others. One of the true greats” — Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming.
“Kiwi great Martin Crowe is no more and the cricket world is poorer again. Truly a giant modern batsman and fine analyst” — Former India spin bowler Bishan Bedi.
“He was a world-class athlete whose exploits on the pitch endeared him to cricket fans around the world, whose leadership helped propel our Black Caps to the 1992 Cricket World Cup semi-final and whose tutelage has helped the next generation to excel” — New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
“A modern great and cricket icon Martin Crowe is no more. Brilliant cricket brain and a warm persona” — India leg spinner Anil Kumble.
“You will always be a legend in my eyes. Thank you for all your help and advice. Now you can rest easy my friend. Miss you already” — Former Australia captain Michael Clarke.
“So sad to hear the passing of Martin Crowe. One of the game’s greats on and off the field” — former Australia batsman Damien Martyn.
“So sad to hear news of Martin Crowe passing away. For those of us who grew up watching cricket in the 80s we owe him immensely” — former New Zealand allrounder Scott Styris.
“I will miss him dearly as over the last couple of years there were messages of encouragement between us both as we battled our own demons. His situation however, always put mine in perspective and I marvelled at his resolve. Today is a sad day” — former New Zealand allrounder Chris Cairns.