Auckland: Struggling Australian all-rounder Shane Watson went into the World Cup clash against New Zealand mourning the death of one of his closest friends who lost his battle with cancer this week.

Shane Watson. Pic/Getty Images

Paul Hutchison, a former fast bowler for South Australia and Tasmania, died from cancer in Brisbane on Friday, aged just 47, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported. Watson and Hutchison played junior cricket for Brisbane club Redlands and while he was in the city last week for the washed-out World Cup game against Bangladesh.