Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe, who is battling a rare blood disease, double-hit lymphoma, has admitted that 2015 World Cup final between his beloved New Zealand and Australia could be the last game he’ll ever see.
In his exclusive column for ESPNcricinfo, he wrote:
“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.
“I will hold back tears all day long. I will gasp for air on occasions. I will feel like a nervous parent.”
Crowe, who represented New Zealand in 77 Tests and 143 ODIs, will be present at the final at the MCG hoping to see Brendon McCullum’s New Zealand win a first World Cup title after previously falling at the semi-final hurdle on six occasions.
“I will, like so many Kiwis making the short trek across the Tasman, feel this, as McCullum has stated clearly, to be the greatest cricketing time of our lives. Four million dare to believe, while 11 (and back up) dare to achieve,” he added.
Brendon McCullum paid tribute to the stoicism of Crowe and said that he has been instrumental in helping some of the players in the team raise their game.
“Obviously what he is going through at the moment is incredibly difficult,” McCullum said.
“We had him involved in the group not so long ago … he came and spent some time with the team, and that was great.
“He seems to have really found peace with himself and the game as well, and he’s been instrumental in helping some of our guys within the team peel back their games and really focus on being able to develop individually but also buy into the team [ethos] collectively.
“He’s been a really big asset, and there’s many [other] guys as well who have assisted guys individually, which has helped the team collectively,” he concluded.