Former New Zealand cricketer and selector Dion Nash paid tribute to his teammate and friend Martin Crowe.
Former allrounder bowler Nash said the news of Crowe's death knocked him "sideways".
"It's hard to believe," he said.
Nash, who played international cricket alongside Crowe in the 1990s, described the great batsman as "intense" and a man who had a "massive personality".
"He had this intenseness which was sort of unrivalled ... he was a really, really big character."
But Nash said Crowe's personality was encouraging to the younger guys in the team.
"Sometimes his intensity may have been a bit overwhelming for the senior members but for the young guys in a way it was really encouraging," he said.
Nash admitted he still had a poster of Crowe on his bedroom wall when he was touring with the national team in Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
Nash said Crowe was a "mate to so many cricketers and a hero to so many who played with him and who followed him".