Members of the Nelson cricket community are paying their respects to Martin Crowe, one of New Zealand’s best batsmen, who lost his battle with cancer earlier today.
During his illustrious cricket career, Crowe played 77 test matches, scored 5444 runs with an average of slightly over 45 runs. He scored 17 centuries and his score of 299 is the second best ever scored by a New Zealander.
Crowe was also inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame early last year, receiving a standing ovation at Eden Park, as the third New Zealander to do so.
In 2012 Crowe announced had been diagnosed with lymphoma, blaming the illness on an immune system ravaged by the various illnesses he endured while touring the world during his cricket career.
A year later Crowe confirmed he was clear of cancer’s grip but in September 2014 said on Twitter he had suffered a lymphoma relapse, with his condition seriously worsening in the last few months.
Former Nelson coach and Central District selector Ian Hampton, of Motueka, remembers Crowe as a great classic cricketer and a “respectful fella”.
“He was captain of the Central Districts when I was selecting them so I got to know him and his dad pretty well, I remember sitting with his father at the basin and watching him get 100 -that was really special.
“He was clearly one of our greatest players. His batting style was just so classical, he was so correct and he really studied the game, you can see why he was a great player.”
Ian says Crowe left a lasting impression just as much off the pitch as on. “He just impressed me as a man, he was so respectful and he always listened, that’s what impressed me the most.”
Nelson cricketer Dave Leonard remembers joining the Central Districts for Crowe’s final year.
“He was really good to me,” says Dave. “He was an amazing player, a pretty amazing bloke and a great coach, he could have been one of the best batting coaches in the world.
“We did a bit of work together over the last couple of years, he was actually due to come to Nelson on a Monday and he called me on the Friday and told me it was back but he said, ‘Look, I’ll be fine we’ll just reschedule’.
“It’s really sad and way too early but I guess that’s life. I’m glad he bet it the first time but unfortunately, it came back for him.”