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Thank you Martin Crowe, you will be missed

Martin Crowe, New Zealand
Auckland-born Crowe is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s best players, scoring 17 centuries and 5,444 runs in 77 Tests at an average of 45.36.

On Thursday, Martin Crowe passed away in Auckland with his family by his side at the age of 53. He was diagnosed a year and half ago with terminal double hit lymphoma and spent the last few years of his life away from the public eye. It is that very public who will never forget Crowe’s contribution to cricket.

When Wasim Akram calls you the best batsman he has ever bowled to, it means you’re special. And Martin Crowe was special. The finest batsman in New Zealand cricket history – until Kane Williamson takes that mantle away from him – Crowe was a model foil for the West Indies pacers, Australia’s gamesmanship and the two W’s of Pakistan.

Crowe’s greatest period as captain of New Zealand came in the 1992 World Cup at home, where he led New Zealand to the semi-final. That semi-final against Pakistan turned out to be extremely bittersweet though. Having scored 91 to help New Zealand post 262 – a formidable total at that time – he couldn’t captain his side in the field during Pakistan’s chase due to injury. Without their inspirational captain, the Kiwis capitulated, a result that would lead to Crowe suffering from depression in his later years.

Crowe fought and beat his demons in the public glare and is now remembered as the most technically astute batsman of his generation. His attacking game was one of the key influencers in the introduction of T20 cricket, which has bought our sport to a wider global audience.

Interestingly, Crowe would also link India’s two favourite cricketing sons – Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. One Little Master was Crowe’s inspiration while the other Little Master was inspired by him. Crowe has admitted to taking advice from Gavaskar to face fast bowlers in swinging conditions while Tendulkar used to copy Crowe’s batting style, a fact confirmed by his Mumbai and India teammate Sanjay Manjrekar.

Crowe has sadly passed too soon but his legacy remains. Thank you Martin Crowe, you will be missed.

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