Former New Zealand cricket captains Brendon McCullum and Stephen Fleming today paid their respects to former teammate and fellow Black Caps captain Martin Crowe with a discreet and touching tribute at the New Zealand Open golf tournament in Queenstown.

Crowe passed away last Thursday in Auckland following a long struggle with lymphoma and a remembrance service is being held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell today from 1pm.

The pair, are competing against an Australian team, and today directly opposed former international cricket rivals Allan Border and Ricky Ponting at the transtasman Celebrity Challenge event at The Hills Golf Club in Arrowtown.

Both teams wore black armbands and ribbons on their hats and interrupted their opening round at the bottom of the eighth hole before observing a moment's silence in honour of the 77 test and 143 one-day international veteran.

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The group removed their hats and bowed their heads before Fleming addressed them with a brief pre-prepared speech before resuming play.

The cricketers originally planned on holding the tribute at the fourth hole - the number at which Crowe famously batted throughout his career between 1982 and 1995 - but were wary of attracting a large crowd.

It's understood Fleming, in particular, in the wake of some criticism over their decision to uphold their pre-existing commitment to the New Zealand Open rather than attend the Auckland service, wanted the moment to be more private and poignant.

Meanwhile, former Black Caps teammates Simon Doull and Mark Richardson, and former England captain Ian Botham, also wore armbands and ribbons during their concurrent round in the tournament's pro-am event at the Millbrook Golf Club.

Earlier this week Fleming defended their decision to remain in Queenstown, saying they had a special opportunity to remember Crowe alongside three rival national captains.

"We've got a unique opportunity with the group of cricketers that are down here, that whilst we can't be in Auckland on the day, we really want to pay our respects to Martin and the family, and we're just going to share some stories," said Fleming.

Fleming insisted Queenstown is a fitting location from which to pay tribute to Crowe, with the pair having shared some memorable occasions in the tourist hot-spot.

"I know there's been some criticism about that," he said, "But from a personal point of view, it's probably one of the more fitting places to do it.

"Queenstown was a popular spot, I spent some great times here with Martin. So in some ways it's fitting to remember those times and some good cricket stories as well.

"Obviously (he was) one of our greatest cricketers and one of the great cricketers to play the game.

"We saw his passion in his last few years with the way he wrote and his fondness for the game was pretty much second to none.

"So we'll try and reflect our feelings on Friday."