New Zealand cricket great Martin Crowe has given a frank account of his ongoing battle with cancer in a recent column.

In a piece published on the ESPNcricinfo website, Crowe reflected on cricket's highs and lows during the past year.

Brendon McCullum's triple century against India in February was among the highlights, while the recent death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes was singled out as the game's low point.

In reflecting on the Hughes tragedy, Crowe opened up about his own battle with lymphoma, which he was first diagnosed with in 2012.


"Death is something I have contemplated lately, only because the medical experts say it's nearly time," wrote Crowe.

He said his cancer had been in remission, but in the last few months it had reappeared in a new and more aggressive form.

"[T]o hear it had transformed into a rare blood disease called double-hit lymphoma, turbocharged to apparently give me very little time left (only 5% of patients live up to 12 months), was a shock out of the blue ...

"I tidied up my affairs, as they suggested, sold the farm (literally), wrote out a will and a funeral note, and braced myself. It's fair to say I thought the situation was a tad unfair."

However, Crowe said Hughes' death put his own situation into context.

"What transpired was unheard of, unprecedented," he wrote of Hughes' demise after being hit in the head by a short-pitched ball during a domestic cricket match in Sydney.

"At age 25, he was truly denied ... Whatever emotion I felt about my own plight subsided somewhat as the enormity of Hughes' death sank in. I didn't know him, and yet it had a great effect, as it rightly had on many.

"I was left feeling I wanted to sit with him a bit, to get some sense of his genuine passion for cricket and life."


Crowe is widely considered New Zealand's best ever batsman. He played 77 test matches, scoring 5444 runs at an average of 45.36. His 17 test centuries is still the record for any Black Caps batsman. He also played 143 one-day internationals, with the highlight being his remarkable batting and captaincy during the 1992 World Cup.

It was fitting, then, that he concluded his column by looking forward to the upcoming World Cup, which is being co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia as it was in 1992.

The tournament would give the cricket community a chance to "join together down under and celebrate all that is well with the cricket world".

"I will see you there," he said.