Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Mark Nicholas on Martin Crowe: He was at peace

During their long friendship, commentator Mark Nicholas observed how Martin Crowe mellowed and became comfortable with his own mortality.

It seemed unusual for such a mighty gladiator as Crowe became more at peace with himself and the world after his cancer diagnosis in 2012.

"It was a time of deep self-appraisal. I think he let go of a lot of the demons that-I think haunted him is a bit heavy-but certainly he was a man who got himself into a few scraps often of his own making.

"He was opinionated and I think he let go of a lot of things and it became a very beautiful period I think when he was almost at peace I would say, about so many issues which had confronted him for so long.

"In that peace came a wonderful lightness of being."

Mark Nicholas on the life and career of Martin Crowe

Nicholas thought recognition from the ICC Hall of Fame during the World Cup last year was huge for Crowe and helped him understand the world's appreciation of him.

The pair first met in the early 80's and got on very well. Crowe teased Nicholas about his Graham Gooch-style batting stance and the pair shared their views across a range of topics as their friendship grew. They shared dinners and their love of art and wine.

They worked together for the first time in England in 1999 before Crowe, as Sky's producer of cricket and someone with innovative ideas about sports coverage, asked Nicholas to work in New Zealand.

Crowe's views often butted up against the establishment but articles he wrote like the "Masks We Wear" were compulsory reading.

It came in the wake of Jonathan Trott's battle with depression where Crowe talked about confronting his own confusion and insecurity.

"The one line that put a chill through us all really was 'I realized I had to fake it to make it', that's when he put a mask on and began not to like himself very much but began to become an incredible player," Nicholas said.

Sir Ian Botham on Martin Crowe: He lived for cricket

Another colleague Ian Botham recalled meeting Crowe who replaced Viv Richards on the Somerset roster . Crowe lived for cricket and would argue and debate it for hours.
"It was his love and his passion.

"He was probably the best player New Zealand has ever had and probably in the top four or five the game has ever seen," Botham said.

There would be many people around the globe and especially in south-west England who would be sad but also remember Crowe's generosity with his time and ideas.

READ MORE
New Zealand cricket legend Martin Crowe has died

Friends and foes pay tribute to Martin Crowe
Russell Crowe pays tribute to cousin Martin Crowe: 'I will love you forever'
Ten Magic Moments in the career of Martin Crowe

- NZ Herald

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