New Zealand’s greatest batsman Martin Crowe died on Thursday at the age of 53 after a prolonged battle with cancer, his family said.
“Diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal double-hit lymphoma, he passed away peacefully today, Thursday, March 3, in Auckland surrounded by family,” his family said in a statement.
Crowe enjoyed a 13-year international career from 1982-95, including four years as captain.
He had a Test average of 45.36 in 77 matches and held a slew of New Zealand batting records when he retired, including most Test runs (5,444), highest Test score (299), most 50s (35) and most hundreds (17) -- the last of which still stands.
While recognised for his achievements as a batsman, Crowe’s major impact on the game arguably came after he retired in 1995 and laid the foundation for cricket’s Twenty20 revolution.
Such was his impact that the tributes started to pour in, from teammates and opponents, both former and current.
Among the first to express their condolences were, not surprisingly, New Zealand cricketers and the country’s cricket board.
Very sad to hear of the passing of martin crowe this morning. An inspiration to me and so many others. One of our true greats. RIP hogan— Stephen Fleming (@SPFleming7) 3 March 2016
Until we meet again Hogan. Love Tuisi pic.twitter.com/gXJCWlvaCa— Ross Taylor (@RossLTaylor) 3 March 2016
Today we lost a legend of our game. Not only was he a great sportsman but more importantly a… https://t.co/Fdd3yrv9cS— Martin Guptill (@Martyguptill) 3 March 2016
New Zealand Cricket is deeply saddened at the passing of our country’s greatest batsman, Martin David Crowe, aged 53 pic.twitter.com/UGk75OFMW5— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) 3 March 2016
Indian cricketers, including Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, also bid Crowe goodbye.
Heartfelt condolences to family and fans of #MartinCrowe. Great cricketer and a fighter till the very end.— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 3 March 2016
RIP Martin Crowe, an absolute legend and an iconic star for the @BLACKCAPS— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) 3 March 2016
My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
There were occasions when Sachin & me actually copied him, he was one of my favourite batsman. RIP, Martin Crowe.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) 3 March 2016
Saddened to hear about the demise of 1 of my favourite batsman #MartinCrowe A great technician&an astute reader of the game.May his soul RIP— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) 3 March 2016
A modern great & Ckt icon MCrowe is no more.Brilliant Ckt brain & a warm persona.Condolences 2 family, Jeff & @BLACKCAPS.Ckt will miss him.— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) 3 March 2016
Commentators Harsha Bhogle and Ayaz Memon expressed their thoughts on what Crowe offered, as a cricketer and as a person.
Good man, great cricketer, outstanding captain and a fighter taken away too early. Goodbye Martin Crowe, loved around the world.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 3 March 2016
The last time I met Martin Crowe was the day of the World Cup final. I remember Ian Smith being visibly moved & Crowe so happy to be there— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 3 March 2016
Deeply saddened at Martin Crowe losing battle against cancer. Excellent batsman and deep thinker about the game. Cricket will miss him. RIP— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) 3 March 2016
Possibly best technically equipped batsman of his era https://t.co/lAGdBWU1xV— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) 3 March 2016
Handsomest player of cover drive and on drive that I have seen. Silken touch #MartinCrowe— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) 3 March 2016
Australia are one of New Zealand’s fiercest rivals, in both cricket and rugby. And players from the Kiwis’ trans-Tasman neighbours had nothing but respect for Crowe.
RIP Martin Crowe. One of the great batsman! Was a pleasure to know and work with him.— Michael Slater (@mj_slats) 3 March 2016
So sad to hear the passing of Martin Crowe. One of the games greats on and off the field. My thoughts with family and friends. #martincrowe— Damien Martyn (@damienmartyn) 3 March 2016
Just heard the news of Martin Crowe's passing. Brilliant player and ambassador for our game. Sympathies to Jeff and the family. #Hogan 😪😪— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) 3 March 2016
Pakistan pace bowling legend Wasim Akram described Crowe as the ‘BEST’ he ever bowled against.
(With inputs from AFP)