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Saturday, April 4, 2015

NZ Cricket awards ~ the gentle Martin Crowe and team BlackCaps excel in behaviour

A majestic photo of a great Cricketer – but reading this will leave you sad !!!

In a Test career spanning 77 matches, Martin  Crowe scored 5444 runs with 299 as high highest, averaged 45.36, scored 17 centuries.  In One dayers, he scored 4704 in 143 matches with 4 centuries and averaged 38.55 – a good quality player, he was.  He last played Test cricket in India in Nov 1995 – when Narendra Hirwani took 6 wickets in a dull drawn match.   His last one day appearance was also in India in Nov 1995, whenIndia lost by a very huge margin of 99 runs.  Not many would know the tragedy on that day, which happened to be his last International appearance.  Sadly in that match at Nagpur, there was a terrible tragedy when a part of the stadium collapsed, killing 9 and injuring 70 people.  It was the parapet wall of a newly-built extension  that came thundering down.  In an insensitive way, the Officials did not dare to call off play, citing  fear of crowd reaction.  The players reportedly were unaware of the deaths  !!

He delivered a heart-wrenching speech in the NZ Cricket awards function.  Legendary New Zealand cricketer Martin Crowe believes that his country's new crop of cricketers have matured significantly, which resulted in them reaching the World Cup final for the first time in the tournament's history. Reflecting on Brendon McCullum's men's performance at World Cup, Crowe said that they have grown; matured and it was really the result of two years of incredible work, reported. While delivering an emotional speech, Crowe said that everyone could feel proud of where they are at because it has laid a foundation for the young kids for generations to come, insisting that this is an era that has made him incredibly happy to have played the game.  His appreciations to the committed ways of Daniel Vettori left him teary-eyed. 

That final was won handsomely by Aussies, who indulged in nauseating ‘sledging’ – worser still, Australia coach Darren Lehmann  defended his players following criticism of their behaviour.  Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin came under fire for his send-off of Kiwi opener Martin Guptill, and a photograph of Haddin and all-rounder James Faulkner mocking Grant Elliott after his dismissal cast a shadow over the Australian's fifth World Cup triumph.

But Lehmann insisted Haddin was following team orders. And he was able to cite the ICC's failure to censure his team as evidence that they hadn't gone over the top. 'We're happy with the way we played, obviously. We knew we wanted to be really aggressive against them, and look, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.' But Sportsmail's David Lloyd, who is part of the ICC's umpire selection panel, has added his voice to the chorus of criticism aimed at the Australians. 'I was very disappointed at some of the behaviour in cricket's showpiece event, particularly from the Australians,' he said.

The Black Caps might not have won their final match but they won the post-match issue of "sledging". They won it in the best sporting tradition of saying nothing about it. Captain Brendon McCullum refused to be drawn into the discussion, saying nothing should distract from the fact that Australia deserved to win. Grant Elliott, one of those given a verbal "send-off" at the wicket when his fine, resilient innings ended, said what happens on the field stays on the field and took it as a sign the Aussies rated him as a player.

Kiwis, like Aussies, would never give an opponent the satisfaction of seeing anger or hurt. But there, perhaps  the similarity ends.  Kiwis are now accustomed to winning and perhaps will talk more on the field rather than show on it like the Aussies. 

It is very sad to read about Martin Crowe.  Mutations on two genes responsible for cell growth cause a rare form of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.   The rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is known as "double-hit" lymphoma (DHL) because two genes responsible for aggressive cell growth, MYC and either BCL2 or BCL6, are abnormally rearranged in people with this cancer. Martin Crowe is afflicted and a recent newspaper report states that he  has shed new light on his cancer fight, revealing his insurance company has already paid out on his "death".

Crowe, 52, is fighting terminal 'double-hit' lymphoma and five months ago was given less than 12 months to live - though he looked healthy in being inducted into the ICC cricket Hall of Fame at Eden Park recently. "I sleep 15 hours a day, everyone is saying, 'He's doing really well,' but I'm out of it most of the time."  "I am in a position where, because I'm not supposed to be alive, they have already paid me. I've set up a trust so when I leave, Emma (Crowe's daughter) will be looked after. "It is an odd situation where you are paid out for death while you're still alive, but it's a clause they have in there these days.

Crowe said he was now just living for the moment, enjoying all of his time. Crowe too was a gentleman cricketer and sad to read about his plight.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Apr 2015.

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