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Tributes flow for classy Crowe

Cricket

Tributes are continuing to flood in for New Zealand cricket great Martin Crowe who died on Thursday.

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The 53-year-old former national captain, widely regarded as the country’s greatest batsman, died from cancer.

Plaudits have flowed since his family confirmed his death from many including Prime Minister John Key, former teammates and opponents and cricket’s authorities.

International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson hailed Crowe as a world class batsman and a leading thinker on the game.

“He was not only one of the finest batsmen New Zealand has ever produced but also one of the very best the world has ever seen.

“Martin was a larger-than-life cricketer, and a deep and innovative thinker of the game.”

Key described his death as a tragic day for New Zealand and cricket.

A knee injury cut short his international career at the age of 33, but not before he had left his mark on the game.

Sir Richard Hadlee, New Zealand’s greatest bowler, said Crowe had the rare ability to change a shot when he had been deceived by a bowler to preserve his wicket.

“He took great delight in telling me: `Richard, you never got me out in first-class cricket’. I never got his wicket.

“He was an interesting character – a man of many parts. 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 funny man and had a good sense of humour.

“The bottom line was he was a fantastic batsman,” he told Radio NZ.

Former England great and teammate at English county Somerset, Ian Botham, described him as one of the best to play the game.

Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar said he was a fan of the player he first played against in Christchurch in 1990, describing him as a “great cricketer and a fighter till the very end”.

While Pakistan all-rounder Wasim Akram said he was the best batsman he bowled to.

The home of cricket, the Marylebone Cricket Club, said it was flying its flag at half mast at Lord’s in his honour while India and UAE both observed a minute’s for Crowe prior to their Asia Cup match in Dhaka – a game in which his brother, Jeff, was match referee.

A funeral for Crowe will be held at Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral next Friday.

AAP

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