Former NZ cricket captain Martin Crowe battling cancer

FORMER New Zealand cricket captain Martin Crowe has been diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

The news was broken by Crowe's manager Louise Henderson who said the family had requested privacy.

"The diagnosis is very new. The family is still in shock and dealing with the understanding that life as they know it for the unforeseeable future is different," Henderson said.

"They have a number of issues to confront over the next couple of weeks."

The 50-year-old is regarded as one of New Zealand's greatest batsmen, named as one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 1985.

His 299 against Sri Lanka in 1991 remains the highest Test score by a New Zealand player.

An elegant right-handed batsman, he scored 5444 Test runs in 77 matches between 1982 and 1995 for an average of 45.36. He also played in 143 ODIs, scoring 4704 runs at an average of 38.55.

Crowe attempted a return to first class cricket last November, hoping for an opportunity to score the 392 runs he needed to tally 20,000 first-class runs. His comeback match saw him face just three balls before getting injured.

He is married to former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes and is a cousin to actor Russell Crowe.

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