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Cricket legend Martin Crowe dies aged 53
Considered one of the greatest cricketers to ever play the game, New Zealand legend Martin Crowe has died, aged 53.

They come from a talented family and there could be no clearer sign of the closeness between Russell and Martin Crowe than the heartfelt message the Academy Award-winning actor posted in the wake of his cousin's death.
"My champion, my hero, my friend. I will love you forever. RIP M.D.Crowe," Russell Crowe wrote on his Twitter account at midday on Thursday, not long after the news broke that the New Zealand cricket legend has lost his four-year-long battle with cancer.

Earlier, Martin Crowe's immediate family released a statement saying: "It is with heavy hearts that the family of Martin Crowe, MBE advise his death."

Despite their busy lives and distance between them, the cousins remained close. Martin Crowe was among the first to congratulate his cousin - a club owner - when South Sydney ended their NRL title drought in 2014.
"Congrats #ssfcrabbitohs on greatest victory, bookended by Slamming Sam bravery & GI genius," he tweeted at the time.
The duo also spent New Year's Day together in Australia in 2015.
In further trans-Tasman tributes, Cricket Australia released a their own kind words for a respected and admired foe.
"Martin Crowe was amongst the finest players of his generation, a delightful stroke-maker who made an enormous impact in New Zealand and around the cricket world," CEO James Sutherland said.
"He was an important player in the New Zealand teams of the mid `80s which went unbeaten in 10 of 13 series from the time of his debut.
"Martin inspired his country by taking New Zealand to the 1992 World Cup semi-finals and was a revolutionary thinker on the game whose contribution to cricket continued long after he retired.
"He will be sadly missed around the world, including by many Australian cricketers who held deep affection for him and admired his wonderful talents.
"The thoughts of the Australian cricket family are with his family and many friends at this sad time."
The stylish batsman made his international debut in 1982 and played 77 Tests before retiring in 1995. He scored 5444 runs, including 17 centuries, at an average of 45.36.
He played 143 limited-overs internationals and scored 4704 runs, including four centuries.
Martin Crowe is survived by wife Lorraine Downes, daughter Emma and step-children Hilton and Jasmine.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 06:20:46 AM by Blwe_torch »


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Re: RIP Martin Crowe : A graceful player who was a pleasure to watch
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 06:17:49 AM »

Martin Crowe dies: Russell Crowe leads way as world reacts 
Hollywood actor Russell Crowe has paid tribute to "my champion, my hero, my friend," following his cousin Martin Crowe's death.

The Australian was part of a chorus of cricketing and non-cricketing figures around the world mourning the death of the New Zealand cricket legend. Following a prolonged battle with cancer, the revered batsman died in Auckland on Thursday at the age of 53.

Tributes from around the globe quickly began flowing soon after the news broke shortly after 1pm, with Russell Crowe tweeting an emotional message to his fallen family member.

"My champion, my hero, my friend," the co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and best actor Oscar winner said. "I will love you forever. RIP M.D.Crowe."

Former Black Caps skipper Stephen Fleming, who briefly played with Crowe in the New Zealand team, was one of many well-known cricketing figures to pass on their condolences, saying Crowe was one of New Zealand's "true greats".

"Very sad to hear of the passing of Martin Crowe this morning. An inspiration to me and so many others. One of our true greats. RIP hogan."

There was also a heartfelt tribute from Danny Morrison, whose entire career in the New Zealand side was spent as a team-mate of Crowe.

"Awww...sigh!, "Morrison tweeted. "Just heard my ol' mate & skipper Marty Crowe passed!! Kia kaha to next of kin...was an honour to know Hogan xx."

Outside New Zealand, former Australian internationals Michael Clarke, Dean Jones and Damien Martyn were among those to relay their thoughts on Crowe's death.

In touching post on Instagram, Clarke, the former Aussie captain, said Crowe would "always be a legend in my eyes".

"Thank you for all your help and advice," he wrote. "Now you can rest easy my friend. Miss you already."

Jones, who played 52 tests and 164 ODIs for Australia, tweeted: "Just heard the news of Martin Crowe's passing. Brilliant player and ambassador for our game. Sympathies to Jeff and the family. #Hogan"

"So sad to hear the passing of Martin Crowe. One of the greats on and off the field. My thoughts with his family and friends. #martincrowe," Martyn wrote on the social networking site.

Further from Kiwi shores, former India internationals Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman praised Crowe's brilliance with the bat.

"A modern great & Ckt icon MCrowe is no more.Brilliant Ckt brain & a warm persona.Condolences 2 family, Jeff & @BLACKCAPS.Ckt will miss him," Kumble wrote on Twitter.

Laxman tweeted: "Saddened to hear about the demise of 1 of my favourite batsman #MartinCrowe A great technician&an astute reader of the game.May his soul RIP".

Ex-England duo Robert Croft and Phil DeFreitas were also saddened by the news.

"So sad to hear that Martin Crowe has passed away," Croft said. "An absolutely majestic player."

Current and recent Black Caps joined the chorus of tributes.

Black Caps limited-overs wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi, spinner Nathan McCullum and former New Zealand all-rounder Jesse Ryder tweeted their sadness, while Black Caps World Cup hero Grant Elliott, former allrounder Scott Styris and longtime Kiwi cricket commentator Bryan Waddle had particularly poignant messages.

Elliott tweeted a photo of him with Crowe during last year's World Cup with the message, "RIP Martin Crowe. A very sad day. Thoughts are with friends and family."

Styris said: "So sad to hear news of Martin Crowe passing away. For those of us who grew up watching cricket in the 80s, we owe him immensely #RIPCROWE."

"Devastating news the passing of Martin Crowe, doesn't make it any easier that it was expected," Waddle commented. "A Great of the Game gone too soon."

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith and Labour party leader Andrew Little were among other non-cricketing figures to pay their respects on social media.



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Re: RIP Martin Crowe : A graceful player who was a pleasure to watch
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 06:24:03 AM »

Martin Crowe: An elegant batter who was a pleasure to watch

March 3, 2016 - 12:05PM

Duncan Johnstone

Elegant and eloquent, Martin Crowe epitomised the very best of New Zealand cricket on and off the field.
His statistics are testimony to his greatness on the Kiwi scene and ranked him as genuine world class, a fact acknowledged by anyone associated with the game.
But the greatest pleasure he gave us was that, quite simply, he was a pleasure to watch.

His batting was absolute elegance. A rare talent at the crease who always appeared to have time on his hands his power coming from sweet timing rather than bludgeoning, his runs coming from impeccable placement and flowing off the front foot or back.

His eloquence came in transferring his cricketing brain to a wider audience. Crowe had a way of conveying a complicated game in the most succinct communication. His times behind the commentator's microphone provided brilliant analysis and insights, his way with words in his much-treasured columns just as authoritative and yet delivered with readability.
Crowe was born into the game. His father Dave was a decent first-class cricketer and a passionate coach of youth, particularly at Auckland's Cornwall club where he was keen to foster the undoubted talent of Martin and older brother Jeff.

That both would go on to not just play for New Zealand but captain their country spoke volumes of the encouraging family environment.
But Martin quickly possessed a desire that exceeded his talent. It's one thing to have the game, it's another matter to maximise that.
Martin, four years Jeff's junior, spent much of his youth trying to break out of big brother's shadow and succeeded.

I was fortunate to witness this steely determination through the Cornwall club, Auckland Grammar and age-grade rep sides. While Jeff was good it became increasingly obvious that Martin would be better.
Maturity came quick to Martin because his talent placed him in situations beyond his years.
He was always the youngest in his teams, something that extended to his first class debut for Auckland and his Test debut for New Zealand, both in his teens.

It was a baptism of fire with the Silver Fern, peppered by Jeff Thomson bouncers in a rain-affected draw at the Basin Reserve with a debut innings that returned just nine run.
That merely steeled his determination, a hallmark of his career.
When Somerset were looking for an overseas talent to replace the seemingly incomparable Viv Richards and his West Indian team mate Joel Garner, they brought in Crowe, sparking a controversy that saw county legend Ian Botham storm off to Worcestershire in protest.
Yet Crowe slowly but surely won the Somerset faithful over with his relentless runs. Back then, he was a more than useful seam bowler as well, a skill eventually cut short by back problems.
Crowe was a perfectionist, never content with where he was at, despite his remarkable success. It was an attitude that at times could see him guilty of being too insular. He liked the finer things in life which could lead to him being misunderstood.
But the benefits were always for the teams as he prospered in some of New Zealand's finest eras.
With the sheer class of Crowe and Sir Richard Hadlee alongside the grit of players like John Wright, Jeremy Coney, John Bracewell and Ian Smith, success came at a rate never seen before.
And as the old heads fell away, Crowe was there to carry the torch, heading the infamous generation of "Young Guns".
Victories were far harder to come by but Crowe's class shone brighter than ever, a leader by example.
A strong traditionalist who thrived on the test scene, perhaps Crowe's finest moment came in the one-day arena at the 1992 World Cup that New Zealand co-hosted with Australia.
Unfancied before the tournament, Crowe's team went on an unbelievable run to lead proceedings after the round-robin phase.
Much of that could be attributed to Crowe's leadership as much as his tournament-high haul of runs.
From opening the bowling with spinner Dipak Patel to opening the batting with Mark Greatbatch's rollicking power approach, Crowe flummoxed New Zealand's opponents with an unorthodox approach. Clever use of fields and an unlikely bowling attack based around slow-medium paced bowlers to suit the local tracks continued to frustrate the world's best batsmen in his backyard.
Little wonder then that just four years later Crowe came up with a way to revolutionise the popularity of short-form cricket by dreaming up the CricketMax concept. Twenty over formats, special scoring zones, the game done and dusted in three hours, made for TV . . . this, essentially, was Twenty20 before its time.
While the game didn't take off, it was testimony to the vision of the man. He chuckled at the irony of the subsequent T20 success.
Crowe knew a good thing when he saw it too, and one of his most treasured achievements in life after cricket came during his three years in charge of the Rugby Channel on Sky TV. Having been 10 years as executive produce for cricket coverage on the pay TV channel, he revelled in the challenge of being taken outside of his comfort zone.
One initiative was to introduced extended including live coverage of New Zealand's 1st XVs schools competition.
It was a level he was good enough to play at Auckland Grammar featuring at wing in a team coached by Graham Henry that had Grant Fox at No 10 - and a game he believed was a foundation for the success of the All Blacks and deserved of a wider audience.
The current renaissance in the schools scene is very much a product of Crowe's vision.
Just as Crowe's career was cut short by a knee injury, his life was ended prematurely by a second bout of cancer that not even his proven self-belief could counter.
He hung on bravely, just as he did in many of his innings, to see out the last World Cup. He marvelled in New Zealand's run to the final, took joy in helping his special projects Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor making major contributions and generally soaked up the love and fond memories of the '92 campaign that came his way. Inclusion to the ICC's hall of fame in a special ceremony at Eden Park during the remarkable win over Australia remains an eye-watering moment and a deserved accolade.
New Zealand has been robbed of one of its sporting greats while the cricketing world has lost one of its finest brains.
In recent years Crowe exhibited an open-ness and humility not always apparent when he was at the peak of his powers at the crease.
He transferred that into some wonderful essays and columns for the sport's leading specialist website Cricinfo, where his writing flowed like one of his impeccable cover drives.
The final delivery in the life of Martin David Crowe came too soon.
Crowe is survived by wife Lorraine Downes, daughter Emma and step-children Hilton and Jasmine.

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