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Martin Crowe has cancer

Calcutta/Wellington: Former New Zealand cricket captain Martin Crowe has been diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, reports said.

The 50-year-old Martin, one of the greats of the game, was diagnosed with the ailment recently, a statement issued by his manager Louise Henderson said.

“The diagnosis is very new… The family is still in shock and dealing with the understanding that life as they know it for the unforeseeable future is different,” Henderson said.

“They have a number of issues to confront over the next couple of weeks,” she added.

Though details of how serious or what stage the ailment is in has not been released yet, the diagnosis was “very new”, New Zealand papers reported on Monday.

Henderson is also manager to Martin’s wife, former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes.

Martin was named as one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1985, and his 299 against Sri Lanka in 1991 remains the highest Test score by a New Zealand player.

A right-handed batsman who scored 5,444 Test runs in 77 matches between 1982 and 1995 at an average of 45.36, Martin also had a stint with English county side Somerset between 1984 and 1988.

He played in 143 ODIs and scored 4704 runs at an average of 38.55.

Martin is still saluted for getting off-spinner Dipak Patel to open the bowling and for encouraging Mark Greatbatch to smash the bowlers in the early overs.

Martin, whose younger brother Jeff had also led the New Zealand team, was the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s chief cricket officer in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League.

He had briefly attempted to return to first-class cricket last November, saying that he considered it a means of self-motivation and a tool to get fit. It would also have provided him with an opportunity to score the 392 runs he needed to tally 20,000 first-class runs.

However, his attempt lasted only three balls into his first innings. The veteran pulled a thigh muscle while batting for Cornwall, against Parnell, in a club game.