Martin Crowe dies aged 53

Former New Zealand cricket captain Martin Crowe has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 53.

“Yes it is unfortunately true, he has died,” a New Zealand Cricket spokesman said on Thursday, confirming an earlier statement from Crowe’s family.

Widely regarded as New Zealand’s finest batsman, Crowe played 77 tests from 1982-1995 and scored 5,444 runs at an average of 45.36.

The elegant right-hander also scored 4,704 runs at an average of 38.55 in one-day internationals.

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

In September 2014, Crowe said a new, more aggressive form of the disease, double-hit lymphoma, had developed and he had been told only five percent survive more than 12 months.

Factbox on former New Zealand cricket captain Martin Crowe, who has died of cancer. He was 53.

* Born Sept. 22, 1962 in Auckland

* Made first-class debut for Auckland in January 1980 and earned a scholarship to Lord’s as a member of the groundstaff a year later.

* Made test debut against Australia in Wellington in February 1982. Scored nine runs and was dropped after the series having scored just 20.

* Recalled for the ODI ‘Bushfire Match’ against Australia at the SGG in February 1983, scoring 66 as New Zealand won by 14 runs. Went on the tour of England in 1983, which included the World Cup.

* Scored first test century (100) against England at Wellington in 1984, propelling him to a superb county season with Somerset where he scored 1,870 first class runs and was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1985.

* Made 188 against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane in November 1985.

* Succeeded John Wright as New Zealand captain in 1990.

* Combined with Andrew Jones in a then-world record stand of 467 to save the first test against Sri Lanka in 1991, scoring 299. Smacked his bat against a door as he walked off, having been in sight of the first test triple century by a New Zealand batsman.

* Persistent knee injury ended his playing days in 1995 after 77 test matches and 143 ODIs.

* He finished with 5,444 test runs at 45.36 with a high score of 299 and 17 centuries, which is still the most by a New Zealand batman. He scored 4704 ODI runs at 38.55.

* Invented a shorter form of the game in the late 1990’s, marketed as ‘Max Cricket’, which reduced the match to two innings of 10 overs each and is seen as one of the precursors to Twenty20 cricket.

* Carved out a successful career in television production.

* Mentored Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill, working on the technical issues of their game.

* Attempted return to first class cricket at 49 in a bid to achieve the 392 runs needed to reach 20,000. The bid ended after three balls in a club game when he injured a hamstring.

* Was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma in October 2012.

* Disease went into remission but was followed by a new, more aggressive form.

* Played his last game of cricket for his Cornwall club, scoring 25 not out during last year’s World Cup, the day before he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

* Watched New Zealand make their first World Cup final, losing to Australia.

* Died on March 3, 2016 aged 53.