New Zealand cricket legend Martin Crowe dies aged 53

New Zealand Cricket issued a short statement acknowledging Crowe's death on its website yesterday and a spokesman said they were honoring his family's wishes for privacy.

"It's hard to believe", he said.

Crowe's success appeared assured from the off. His father David had played first class cricket during the 1950s, his mother Audrey was the country's foremost female cricketer, and his older brother, Jeff, would appear in 39 Tests for his country, many with his sibling.

"He had this intenseness which was sort of unrivalled... he was a really, really big character". One of the best to play the wonderful game!!

Actor Russell Crowe, Martin Crowe's New Zealand-born cousin. For me he was emotional, sensitive, he was driven by goals, he strove for perfection, at times he was very obsessional about cricket and the fear of failure, at times very insular - a private person - other times he was a amusing man and had a good sense of humour.

Regarded by many as the finest batsman to ever come out of New Zealand, Crowe represented his country in 77 tests and boasted a 45-run average. "I guess it was important with our opportunity to play at home in a World Cup that we tried to do something similar".

Former England allrounder Sir Ian Botham wrote on Twitter: "Very sad to wake up to the news that Martin "Hogan" Crowe has passed away...!!"

This included 17 centuries, the most by a New Zealand cricketer, while his 299 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in January 1991 stood as a national record until recently-retired New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum scored 302 against India in Wellington in 2014. RIP." India allrounder Anil Kumble said "a modern great and cricket icon Martin Crowe is no more. Former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming called Crowe “one of our true greats”. A true legend of New Zealand sport.

"The whole cricket family around the world will be mourning him".

Crowe was initially diagnosed with follicular lymphoma in 2012, but the disease went into remission.

It was Wright who was nominated captain when Crowe after making 91 (run out), could not take the field in Pakistan's chase of 263 in the semifinal of the 1992 World Cup at the Eden Park, Auckland. He was in the New Zealand dressing room after last year's World Cup final and described Taylor and Guptill as "the sons I never had" as he spoke of his pride in being in Melbourne for the decider.

Martin is survived by his wife, former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes, 51, and his daughter Emma, from his first marriage.

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