Auckland, March 3:
The cricketing world paid tribute to New Zealand batting legend Martin Crowe, who died on Thursday aged 53 after fighting a long battle with cancer.
Widely regarded as his country’s best batsman, Crowe debuted as a 19-year-old, playing 77 Tests between 1982 and 1995. He scored 5,444 runs at an average of 45.37 with 17 centuries, more than any other New Zealander.
Crowe captained the Black Caps in 16 Tests and 44 One-Day Internationals (ODI). He played 143 ODIs, scoring 4,704 runs at an average of 38.55 with four centuries and 34 half-centuries.
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann tweeted on Thursday saying, “Sad to hear about the passing of Martin Crowe, our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family #RIP Legend. Loved knowing you.”
Former India pacer Zaheer Khan said: “Sad to hear kiwi cricket icon Martin Crowe is no more … my thoughts n prayers r with family n friends #RIPMartinCrowe.”
Legendary Pakistani pacer Wasim Akram tweeted: “RIP Martin Crowe you will always be remembered. You were the BEST I ever bowled against and a top human being. #Gonetoosoon #RIPMartinCrowe.”
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar said: “Heartfelt condolences to family and fans of #MartinCrowe. Great cricketer and a fighter till the very end.”
Former Australia pacer Damien Fleming said: “RIP Martin Crowe such a classy batsman, innovator #CricketMax, I appreciated immensley his sharp wit in the Beach cricket series #Hogan.”
Former Black Caps skipper Stephen Fleming tweeted: “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.”
Former Kiwi all-rounder Scott Styris wrote: “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.”
Former Australia batsman Damien Martyn said: “So sad to hear the passing of Martin Crowe. One of the games greats on and off the field. My thoughts with family and friends. #martincrowe.”
Legendary Pakistan skipper Imran Khan said: “Saddened to hear of the passing of a great cricketer Martin Crowe – the best New Zealand captain I played against.”
Former England skipper Alec Stewart tweeted: “Very very sad news to wake up to. Great player & a great man #RIPMartinCrowe.”
Former Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara said: “Rest in peace Martin Crowe. A wonderful batsmen and a man with courage and conviction. Inspired generations of batsmen around the world.”
Former India great V.V.S. Laxman said: “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.”
Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear that Martin Crowe has passed away, master batsman & one of the great thinkers in our game. #RIPHogan.”
Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi said: “Kiwi Gr8 MCrowe is no more & Crkt world is poorer again..truly giant o modern batsmen & fine analyst!RIP Martin Crowe!Condolences 2 NZ Crkt!”
Spin legend Anil Kumble said: “A modern great & Ckt icon MCrowe is no more.Brilliant Ckt brain & a warm persona.Condolences 2 family, Jeff & @BLACKCAPS.Ckt will miss him.”
Among current cricketers, India Test captain Virat Kohli paid tribute tweeting: “RIP Martin Crowe, an absolute legend and an iconic star for the @BLACKCAPS My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Harbhajan Singh said: “RIP Martin Crowe….! condolences to the family and friends.”
Ravichandran Ashwin said: “RIP Martin Crowe,don’t feel like belittling your greatness by talking about it after your demise. Cricket will miss you.”
Batsman Suresh Raina tweeted: “Sad to hear untimely demise of Martin Crow. He was not only a great batsman but an excellent gentleman too. Condolences to his family. RIP.” (IANS)