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Photo: Andrew Cornaga/photosport.co.nz

Photo: Andrew Cornaga/photosport.co.nz

The Unforgettable Martin Crowe

Martin Crowe is chased by fans, New Zealand Black Caps v Australia, Cricket World Cup, Eden Park, New Zealand. 22 February 1992.

On 22 February 1992 at Auckland’s Eden Park, New Zealand beat Australia by 37 runs in the first game of the fifth ICC Cricket World Cup. New Zealand scored 248, with Martin Crowe, the captain, scoring exactly 100 not out.?Here the delighted fans try to pat him on the back as he leaves the field at the end of that innings.?It was the beginning of a remarkable run in the World Cup led by Crowe’s outstanding batting and innovative captaincy. New Zealand won six more matches before being?beaten twice by Pakistan. The second time was?in the cup semi-final?at Eden Park?when Crowe suffered a leg injury and handed the on-field captaincy to John Wright.

At Eden Park, one cannot help remember Martin Crowe, the legend who changed the face of New Zealand cricket. Crowe was one of the earliest heroes of New Zealand cricket. With his talent, personality, and astute captaincy, he changed the way the world played the one-day cricket.

Sadly, the once rising star of New Zealand cricket is now at the sunset of his life. Diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2012, doctors gave him just one year to live. But Crowe, showing traits of the determined cricketer he was in his playing days, fought the dreaded disease and controlled it with a disciplined life and treatment. Crowe had earlier said that his dream was to watch the 2015 World Cup and he realised it when he watched the New Zealand-Australia match in his hometown.

Terminally ill but not bed-ridden, Crowe was at Eden Park on February 28 to watch the Group A match between the Kiwis and the Aussies. He was honoured during the lunch break of the match and was inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. An emotional Crowe, wiping away his tears and waving at the 40,000 strong crowds, as he headed back to the pavilion, was one the lasting images of this World Cup. The whole of New Zealand and the countless fans around the world are praying and keeping their fingers crossed for Crowe.

Martin has penned an emotional column ahead of the World Cup final, ?My precarious life ahead may not afford me the luxury of many more games to watch and enjoy,??Crowe wrote on the ESPNcricinfo website

It could be the last game of cricket he watches and said he will be at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday to watch the Black Caps play Australia. The 52-year-old expected the final to extend him physically and emotionally.

?Without question, this will be the personal cricketing highlight of my life, and I sense for New Zealand too.

?I will hold back tears all day long. I will gasp for air on occasions. I will feel like a nervous parent.?

?So this is likely to be it. The last, maybe, and I can happily live with that.?

Martin Crowe, one of the leading batsmen of the late ’80s and early ’90s, played 77 Tests for New Zealand

http://english.manoramaonline.com/in-depth/cricket-world-cup-2015/the-unforgettable-martin-crowe.html
http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/856297.html
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