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WELLINGTON: Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe on Thursday blamed illnesses picked up touring during a 13-year international cricket career for his diagnosis with the cancer lymphoma.
Crowe said his cancer was “very treatable” and he would battle it with the same determination he displayed during his playing days.
“My mindset and fierce focus has kicked in just like it did when approaching a long innings in a Test match,” he said in a statement. “I will focus on the important things in front of me, and nothing else.”
The 50-year-old said he believed his immune system had been weakened by illness while on the road with the Black Caps, leaving him vulnerable to the cancer, which he said was grade two follicular lymphoma.
“In the past, on travels during my cricket career, suffering salmonella and glandular fever has compromised me,” he said.
“The result of a weakened immune system over the last two decades is basically why I have become exposed to this sort of disease.
Crowe, who scored a record 17 centuries for New Zealand in his 77-Test career and is regarded as the country’s greatest batsman, said he had been buoyed by expressions of support since he went public with his diagnosis.
“I am overwhelmed by the support and concern by so many around the world and wish to say a massive thanks... it has enabled me to come to terms with the shock from my recent lymphoma diagnosis faster.” Crowe said the cancer had affected the lymph nodes in his neck, armpits and stomach.
“It is very treatable. It is not aggressive,” he said. “Treatment will be decided in due course after further tests and consultation in the next two weeks.”
Crowe, a cousin of Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, averaged 45.36 with the bat in a Test career which spanned from 1982-1995.
A classical batsman with a wide range of shots and seemingly all the time in the world to play them, Crowe came from a cricketing family - his father had played in the first-class game and brother Jeff represented New Zealand - and made his Test debut aged 19, quickly being tagged with the label of best young batsman in the world.
He broke a series of record, despite being blighted by injuries which included a broken shin, back trouble, torn hamstrings and in latter years, serious knee injuries.
With Richard Hadlee, Crowe was at the heart of a New Zealand side which enjoyed considerable success in the 1980s After an excellent season at Somerset in 1984, he was lured back to lead the side in 1987.
Hadlee’s retirement only served to increase the pressure on him, but in 1994 he led the line, almost hobbling at times, with 380 runs in three Tests against England. AGENCIES