Fifty-year-old Martin Crowe, one of New Zealand's batting greats, was diagnosed with the ailment recently, a statement issued by his manager Louise Henderson said.
"The diagnosis is very new. The family is still in shock and dealing with the understanding that life as they know it for the unforeseeable future is different," Henderson said. "They have a number of issues to confront over the next couple of weeks," she added.
Though details of how serious or what stage the ailment is in has not been released yet, the diagnosis was "very new", New Zealand papers reported today.
Henderson is also manager to Crowe's wife, former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes.
Crowe was named as one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 1985, and his 299 against Sri Lanka in 1991 remains the highest Test score by a New Zealand player.
A right-handed batsman who scored 5,444 Test runs in 77 matches between 1982 and 1995 for an average of 45.36, Crowe also had a stint with English county side Somerset between 1984 and 1988.
He has also played in 143 ODIs and scored 4704 runs at an average of 38.55.
He had briefly attempted to return to first class cricket last November, which would have provided him with an opportunity to score the 392 runs he needed to tally 20,000 first-class runs. His comeback match saw him face just three balls before getting injured.