New Zealand’s former captain Martin Crowe passed away at the age of 53 on Thursday in Auckland after a long battle with lymphoma, a kind of cancer. He led New Zealand in the World Cup 1992 where the Kiwis made their way into semi-final stage, eventually losing to Pakistan. Crowe had some distinguished abilities as a player and that’s the reason Ramiz Raja said, ‘Martin Crowe was an imaginative leader who maximized his team’s potential and resources by thoughtful captaincy and out-of-the-box tactics to flummox oppositions. He used the local conditions brilliantly and made the opposition think and admit to New Zealand’s presence in the 1992 World Cup. His famous trick was Dipak Patel with the new ball, which turned out to be a master stroke, a move that was tailor-made to extract advantage out of New Zealand pitches and it stunned the opposition with a bit of drama as well. The off spinner showed great control with the new ball and bowled an aggressive line to pick up wickets,’ to ESPNcricinfo while recalling Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup win.
World media paid its tributes to Crowe.
“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.”
Source: Stuff New Zealand
“He had strong claim to being the best New Zealand batsman the country has so far produced.
Yet it was the way he played, rather than the sheer volume of his run-making, that sparked the cricketing public’s imagination. Possessed of what Wisden called an “utterly correct, old-fashioned batting technique”, he had superb, effortless timing and could play every shot in the book with a lazy, upright grace.
Along with the great Richard Hadlee, Crowe was a star turn during a profitable era for New Zealand cricket, playing a significant role in the country’s first Test series win in England in 1986 and, as captain, taking them to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1992.
The peak of Crowe’s 143-match one-day international career was the 1992 World Cup, when he captained his side to within a whisker of the finals, scored more runs than anyone else in the tournament, was declared man of the series, and showed himself an imaginative leader whose innovations included opening the bowling with a spinner, Dipak Patel, and introducing pinch-hitters.
Later in life, Crowe admitted that the pressure of being a cricketing prodigy had been “torture”. When he left the game he suffered from depression, which was partly alleviated by a “rebirthing” programme in which he identified that his early experiences had left him with “unfinished teenage development”.- theguardian.com
“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.”
“In 1991 his abundant ability saw him named New Zealand sportsman of the year and awarded an MBE for services to cricket. Crowe was inducted into the New Zealand sports hall of fame a decade later, having continued a love affair with cricket that extended long beyond his premature retirement.”
Source: New Zeland Herald
“The experience of being a batting prodigy would leave him with mental scars, however, and he later wrote in the second of his autobiographies “Raw” in 2013 that being thrust into the limelight as a teenager had not allowed him to mature.
He said he also struggled with doubt and emotional instability in his early years, which left him feeling “scared and bewildered”.
“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.”
Source: Sydney Morning Herald