Cricket star Martin Crowe's step son has paid tribute to the man he was once "pretty hard on" but later grew to love.
Hilton Mexted, the son of former All Black Murray Mexted and Crowe's wife Lorraine Downes, posted a moving tribute on Instagram before catching a plane home from Sydney Airport this afternoon.
"Was pretty hard on you at first when my mum moved to Auckland to be with you but over the last 10 years I have been extremely blessed to grow close to such an inspiring, kind, generous person who I'm proud to call my step dad," Mexted wrote.
"Thank you for everything you have done for me Marty, I'm glad you are not in pain anymore. Rest in love. See you soon."
The tribute was accompanied by a photo of Crowe being mobbed by fans during the Cricket World Cup in 1992.
Crowe's funeral is to be held at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell on Friday at 1pm.
He died on Thursday, aged 53, after being struck with lymphoma for a second time.
Mexted has been in Sydney for just over a month training with the Manly Marlins rugby team.
He played his first game with the Marlins last weekend, the Marlins winning 40-5 against Randwick.
Last year Mexted lived in Wellington before moving to Auckland for a short spell. He then spent a few months in Hawaii.