Sydney: Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar hailed former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe, who passed away yesterday, as one of the best batsmen in the history of the sport and a good thinker of the game.
Sunil Gavaskar. Pic/Sameer Markande
"In his passing the game has lost not just one of the best batsmen in its history but also a good thinker of the game and one who had innovative ideas to make the game grow," said Gavaskar in a statement.
"I have just returned from a dinner with Ian Chappell in Sydney and we raised a glass in Martin's memory. May his soul rest in peace," he added.
Diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal double-hit lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer, Crowe passed away at the age of 53 in Auckland surrounded by family.
Gavaskar said like any good batsman, Crowe did not give his wicket easily and fought till the end.
"Martin Crowe's passing away is very sad news indeed. We all knew that he was on borrowed time but like all good batsmen he didn't give his wicket away easily and fought till the end," the former India captain stated.
Crowe made his international debut at the age of 19 in 1982 and retired in 1995 after representing New Zealand in 77 Tests and 143 One-Day Internationals.
He scored 5,444 Test runs with 17 centuries, the most by a New Zealand batsman, and 4,704 ODI runs, including 456 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 that won him the player of the tournament award.
Crowe led New Zealand in 16 Tests and 44 ODIs.