Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has died of cancer at the age of 53.
The ex-Black Caps batsman had been suffering from lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, for a second time.
He received the all-clear from the disease in 2012 but confirmed in September 2014 that it had returned.
Auckland-born Crowe is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s best ever batsman, having scored 17 centuries and 5,444 runs in 77 Tests at an average of 45.36.
His family said: “It is with heavy hearts that the family of Martin Crowe, MBE, advise of his death.
“Diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal double-hit lymphoma, he passed away peacefully, Thursday 3 March in Auckland surrounded by family.”
Crowe captained the Kiwis in 16 Test matches and his highest score was 299 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in 1991.
He was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1985 and was player of the tournament in the 1992 World Cup after scoring 456 runs in nine matches.
Crowe also had a spell with English county side Somerset between 1984 and 1988 and scored 19,608 runs in first-class cricket.
He retired in 1996 with a knee injury and went on to become a television commentator and author, and also helped develop Cricket Max – a precursor to Twenty20.
In 2014, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Crowe said he could “happily live with” New Zealand’s World Cup final against Australia being potentially the last match he ever saw.
“My precarious life ahead may not afford me the luxury of many more games to watch and enjoy. So this is likely to be it. The last, maybe, and I can happily live with that,” he wrote on ESPN Cricinfo.
His older brother, Jeff, played 39 Tests for New Zealand between 1983 and 1990, while he was a cousin of the Hollywood actor Russell Crowe.