RIP Martin Crowe

  • Just heard that Martin Crowe has passed away

  • I have been dreading this day for a long time now. Very sad 😞

  • Diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal double hit Lymphoma he passed away today.

    A polarising figure at times but one who only ever had cricket's best interests at heart, he gained a new legion of admirers as he faced his illness with courage and grace.

    Much to his delight, he lived long enough to see New Zealand reachlast year's World Cup final - one match further than his legendary team managed in 1992.

    His tears were testament to his love for the game.

    Crowe, who proudly represented the Cornwall Cricket Club, made his Test debut against Australia in 1982, hitting the first of 17 centuries the following year against England.

    In all he averaged 45 from 77 Tests, facing down some of cricket's most fearsome bowling attacks as he, alongside Sir Richard Hadlee, helped New Zealand hit unparalleled heights.

    He fell one run short of being New Zealand's first triple-century maker against Sri Lanka in 1991, and said a century at Lord's in 1994, after six months out with one of the many knee injuries that blighted his career, was one of his greatest achievements.

    "He made a reputation for himself as courageous, determined, skillful, all the things you want to be as a batsman," former England captain David Gower said.

    A traditionalist with the bat in hand, his unorthodox captaincy started a revolution in the limited overs game when he elevated the hard-hitting Mark Greatbatch to the top of the order in the 1992 World Cup - a trend that is followed to this day.


    A memorable century in the opening victory against Australia helped unify the public behind the team in a manner not seen again until arguably February and March 2015, as New Zealand's squad of journeymen fell one match short of final appearance.

    He was regarded as one of the game's leading thinkers, able to analyse an individual player or match situation with a level of insight almost unmatched in the modern game, and developed Cricket Max, a forerunner to the Twenty20 phenomenon.

    Crowe's thoughts and tendency to air them in public, however, didn't always sit well with others.

    He was shunned by the Black Caps for a period when their results were heading downwards, and says he burned his New Zealand blazer after the messy dumping of Ross Taylor as captain in favour of Brendon McCullum.

    The Auckland Grammar old boy freely admitted to letting his emotions get the better of him at times.

    He has since made his peace, saying before the World Cup final that he "will hold back tears all day long. I will gasp for air on occasions. I will feel like a nervous parent."

    "Whatever happens, March 29 at the MCG will be the most divine fun ever."

    Crowe was the third New Zealander inducted into cricket's Hall of Fame, although a push to see him knighted was, at this time, unsuccessful.

    He is survived by his wife Lorraine Downes.

  • Really sad. His captaincy and batting lit up the 92 WC. Will never forget the opening game in which we beat Australia. This was a huge factor in me loving our summer game and so much of it was due in no small part to him. Class batsman and obviously a brilliant mentor and motivator too.
    Always enjoyed arguing with Virgil about his rightful place in the legion of Cricketing greats too. Can't see that not continuing around November/December each year.
    RIP Hogan.

  • Gutted
    One of our greatest in any sport
    Until Kane retires, Hogan will remain our greatest batsman

  • That's shit. Lomu, Bowie and Crowe is a short space of time. 
    One of our very very few world class players. NZ cricket legend.

  • A great thinker and commentator of the game - will be sorely missed. RIP mate.

  • His Cricket Max was the pre-cursor to Twenty20 also - an innovator.

  • Was there a better cover drive in cricket?

  • Really sad to hear this. Classy player, future thinker, intelligent columnist and caring mentor.
    Going to be some devastated cricketers, current and past, round the world. Not to mention fans.

  • Sad to hear this, even if we were all expecting it.
    A cricket career cut short by a knee injury, and a life cut short by a rare disease.

  • Heard Willie Jackson on the radio describing what Pakistani "All rounder" ( for fuck sake will people stop using that word ) Inzy Ul Haq said. He mentioned the three best guys he ever saw were Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting and MC. High praise indeed.

  • Sad loss.
    No one could rock a DB Draught headband like Martin Crowe.

  • RIP Such a brilliant batsman. Once saw him hit a cover drive that so perfectly bisected the fielders neither moved to the ball.

  • Very sad day for NZ sport.

  • Long expected but very sad all the same. RIP Martin.

  • The first thing that struck me on meeting Martin Crowe, even in the shadow of illness, was his physical presence. Strong frame. Broad shoulders. Deep chest. Direct gaze. This was a little unexpected. I identified him with a cricket of elegant classicism, of economy of movement, of touch and precision rather than brawn. But then I also remembered how he pervaded a crease rather than simply occupying it, and how he obtained such power from such a minuscule backlift, barely a flex of the wrists. Though illness had taken its toll, the deep latent strength was unmistakable.
    The second thing that struck me was how completely alive he was, how dedicated to getting the most and best out of every encounter, his utter humility and insatiable curiosity. Some cricketers never cease being cricketers. Even after retirement they are still at the crease; they can't stop taking guard. Martin was past cricket in the two brief years we were friends, and perhaps the least guarded man I have ever known, utterly frank and giving of himself, healthily in touch with his feelings, and so present in all his dealings that, despite knowing how completely reconciled he was to his mortality, I find myself strangely unprepared to write about him in the past tense.
    It was not always thus with Martin, as he was the first to admit. It's 20 years since he published his first autobiography, Out on a Limb. In hindsight, he thought it a failure - too self-protecting, too self-justifying. That same year, a controversial, unvarnished "unauthorised biography" by Joseph Romanos was published, Tortured Genius. "He did me better than I did me," Martin said. When I ventured that I thought I might have liked him back in the day, Martin looked momentarily very serious. "No, you wouldn't have," he said. "No, you wouldn't have."
    Maybe Martin had more admirers outside his homeland than in it, or at least enjoyed more unleavened admiration. Peter Roebuck described him as "always at war with his own publicity" in New Zealand. As the country's premier batsman, captain designate, then captain, he was known for wanting, and for getting, things his own way. His occasional ruthlessness with others reflected a ruthlessness with himself. He was first chosen against Australia, aged 19.
    Martin's love of cricket was fathomless: so passionate, he needed a break from time to time; so profound, he always found his way back to the fold  
    He was not ready. It hurt him. Sometimes it's said that young players are toughened up by being blooded early, experiencing failure and fighting back. Martin would not have agreed. Strong emotions and deep anxieties lay beneath the surface confidence. He was quick to judge others as "not good enough", not because he did not know what it was to struggle but because he did. The world he later hugged to his breast he kept then at 22 yards' length, and it worked: after 13 Tests, he averaged only 21; across the decade in which he was New Zealand's first and best hope, he averaged in the 50s.
    Young fans trying to get a feel for Martin the batsman will probably have recourse to the annals of YouTube, on which he is well represented in various highlights packages. In doing so, they will miss what I thought was his most memorable quality. Highlights transact in fours and sixes; what they won't show you is the compact, impassable certainty of the Crowe defence. Rare were the circumstances that allowed Martin to bat with true abandon. Often he was husbanding an innings or leading a regrouping. He would be behind the ball and in a position to defend so early that it was almost as emphatic a statement as striking a boundary. His theory - and he had many theories, logically reasoned - was that getting in line opened up the leg side, where there were always fewer fielders.
    Whatever the case, the period of his long peak coincided with an unprecedented depth in fast bowling round the world: Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, Kapil Dev and Allan Donald, to name but a few. The capacity to outlast counted for more than the yen to outhit. He played spin from the crease, with defensive hands as soft as down. Roebuck once wrote that had Viv Richards chosen simply to block, nobody would ever have got him out; you had a similar feeling when Martin got in his groove, shoulders perfectly aligned, bat coming through like a plumb bob, so absolute was his control.
    Thirty years ago at the Gabba, Richard Hadlee led New Zealand to victory by bundling Australia out twice in short order on a sporting pitch. On the same surface, Martin batted eight hours against an attack led by Geoff Lawson and Craig McDermott for 188. I can see him now - tight, upright, playing pedantically in the V, the sleeves buttoned to the wrists, the distinctive white headband beneath the distinctive white helmet, as understated and soaringly magnificent as a Doric column. Martin's one little touch of flamboyance was his penchant for the hook, which he played fearlessly, despite eschewing a face guard on his helmet. In Christchurch a few months after Brisbane, he retired, bloodied and groggy, after a blow to the jaw from Bruce Reid: he returned in a fine fury, his 137 laced with 21 boundaries.
    Other injuries were harder to surmount. The back. The knees. Touring Sri Lanka in 1984 and distracted by the pain from a broken thumb, he ate two mussels off a plate and contracted salmonella that lasted on and off for four years. Three years later he was struck down with glandular fever. When the lymphoma that finally overwhelmed him was diagnosed in October 2012, he determined to live until he died. Resolving to tell his story again, he unconventionally asked his unauthorised biographer Romanos to help. The result was Raw, an unflinchingly honest self-appraisal, which is what caused me to contact him in the first place, not something I would normally do, but which the book seemed to demand. Martin proved to be an astonishingly assiduous correspondent, hugely motivated to become a better writer, always wanting to know what you thought of his work, endlessly encouraging of your own. Physically confined by ill health, he had time for philosophical discussion and personal reflection. With Martin there was no such thing as a trivial contact. Perhaps because it was his own aim, he made you want to be your best self.
    Martin's love of cricket was fathomless: so passionate, he needed a break from time to time; so profound, he always found his way back to the fold. His great theme in the last portion of his life was anger and ill feeling on the cricket field. The world was so full of it; why could the best game of all not afford some sort of refuge, provide a better example? The last message I sent was linking him to an interview with David Warner, of whom Martin had written trenchantly last summer, in which the Australian admitted a weariness of his "attack dog" reputation, and a wish to leave it behind. For the first time, there was not an instant, perceptive, wide-ranging, funny response. That physical presence was entering the past tense. The invincible spirit endures.

  • You know your a class batsman if you can score nearly 1000 runs at 57 against a side containing average bowlers like Wasim and Waqar..

  • Long expected but very sad all the same. RIP Martin.

    Hey JC not to make you feel worse but did you hear the fine actor in your profile pic passed away recently as well.

  • Some heartfelt tributes on twitter

  • We knew it was coming, doesn't make it much easier though. At least Crowe got to have his moment during the World Cup.

  • Banned

    Damn. He was my first sporting hero.
    Remember once Bill Lawry damn near had an organism over a defensive shot he played. What a player.

  • Was there a better cover drive in cricket?

    A Crowe cover drive gave me goosebumps.
    RIP Martin

  • Really sad to hear this. His cover drive was a thing of masterful magnificance.

  • IIRC that Fearnley bat of his only weighed 2lb6 as well. Those shots were all timing.
    (I don't think bat makers even make full size bats that light any more)

  • RIP Hogan. Gone far too soon. Knowing someones ill never makes it easier.

  • NZ Cricket has never got me as passionate as NZ rugby , 
    And there haven't been many Cricketers I have looked up to the same way as my favourite ABs , 
    But Crowe was an exception , probably my favourite ever NZ cricketer.

  • Classy on and off the field, he is the best NZ batsman I've ever had the privilege to see, bar none.  His love for the game will live on in his BC proteges Kane Guppie and Taylor.  Sad for the family losing him so young. RIP MC

  • I went to all the Eden Park games at the 1992 World Cup. It was a privilege to watch him bat.
    Anyone got the classic young guns video commercial?

  • Echo the sentiments that knowing this was going to happen sooner than later doesn't comfort at all
    By christ he was a beautiful batsman. Gower, Mark Waugh and others had their features but if you wanted to play exactly like anyone, it was Crowe
    Random memories:
    He was fricken fast fast between the wickets. Him and Dean Jones changed that aspect of the game
    He used to sweat so much in Australia, drenched shirt
    He looked more like a rugby player up close, big guy
    There was a rain delay at eden park one game. He was working for Sky, the rain stopped and he commissioned a helicopter to dry the ground (I don't think this is urban legend)
    His bouncers were a beast. Short run and very Malcolm marshall esque
    Duncan Fearnely magnums rocked!
    Taking a catch at second slip and haring across the ground behind Smithy in celebration
    Those tons in  England in 94 on one leg, wow
    He actually played a huge amount of balls through leg side, not disimilar to Steve SMith and Kane in the set up to play middle stump balls through leg, except Hogan didn't nudge them he swatted them with a full swing
    That leaning back cut shot off spinners was made to look far too easy
    "He chuckled at the rise of 20/20". Well he pretty much discovered the potential and the audience drivers
    His admissions of forgiveness and turning the other cheek in life were brilliant signs of character. Easy to forget we, as a country, put the old tall poppy thrasher in high gear for Marty. Allegations of aloofness, and being out of touch with the team were rife...and shown to be shithouse too
    His articles in cricinfo were just the type of journalism we on the fern desire
    Let's keep his memory and achievements alive for the newer generations just like our oldies did with Don Clarke, Colin Meads etc
    Rest in Peace great man

  • Have had to drive a bit this avo so interesting listening to a few folk on talkback saying he wasn't the easiest guy to get along with. Issues with the establishment and other players and at times a bit overly critical of the shot that may have got a batsman out.

  • Man. Everyone knew he was living on borrowed time but fuck, that hasn't stopped this from stinging like hell.
    The man was so fucking talented, whether it was with the bat, in the commentators box, writing articles or mentoring our Rossco and Guppy. And a couple of those he was doing at the same time he was fighting cancer. He's left a huge hole in NZ sport and cricket all around the world.

  • Hogans best articles on cricinfo.

  • With alot of talk re Crowes death going back to the 92 CWC, and that devastating semi final loss to Pakistan.
    Heres something to cheer us up, Inzamam's greatest hits of run outs..

    If only he showed us this talent in 92. * Wait he did, but by then it was all too late.

  • haha what a fat potato

  • The best one is where hes hit on the foot and just lies on the ground, totally ignoring the fact his partner is running towards him (you know, like they do in cricket)

  • the best one? how do you choose?! the one where he turns an easy two into a one and then sells his partner out by just going "fuck running 2" was a favourite for me.

  • the best one? how do you choose?! the one where he turns an easy two into a one and then sells his partner out by just going "fuck running 2" was a favourite for me.

    They are all hilariously funny, but just seeing him taking a yorker to the foot and just walking a couple of steps then 'falling over' made me piss myself with laughter. (much needed today)

  • What everyone else has said. While not unexpected, it is still a shock. Many, many happy hours in the 80's/early 90's were spent on the local park trying to bowl like Hadlee and bat like Crowe.

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