New Zealand cricket legend Martin Crowe has given a frank interview to a British newspaper about his battle with terminal cancer.
Crowe, 52, was diagnosed with a rare blood disease called double-hit lymphoma late last year. He told the Sunday Times he was living "one hour to the next", and that his situation was so bad his life insurance had already been paid out.
The newspaper reported that Crowe's doctor told him 95 per cent of people with his particular form of cancer die within 12 months. Crowe spoke openly about how he was coping under the weight of the diagnosis.
"I try to exercise a little bit so I'm not frail. I've found a remedy that helps my appetite and gets rid of my nausea, so I'm not having to deal with that. I sleep 15 hours a day, everyone is saying, 'He's doing really well,' but I'm out of it most of the time.
"I am in a position where, because I'm not supposed to be alive, [the insurers] have already paid me ... It is an odd situation where you are paid out for death while you're still alive, but it's a clause they have in there these days. If you have 12 months or less, you can call upon that money."
Crowe was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in a moving ceremony during a break in play at the recent World Cup match between the Black Caps and Australia at Eden Park. He was just the third New Zealander to be given the honour.
Crowe told the Sunday Times that his cancer diagnosis made him ask himself some searching questions.
"You ask yourself if you want to live. It's a real question. Do you want to die? Have you had enough? I know as a father and as a husband, as a son and a brother, I clearly have not had enough. But I've stopped fighting the fight.
"I am not waking up thinking, 'I've got to keep on top of this, how many supplements should I take today?' I am literally living one hour to the next, and I am enjoying the fact that I am unmasked, that I am authentic, even though I am a little bit sick. It's been a two-year process to get to this point."
Crowe also spoke of his need to distance himself from the health industry and deal with his situation in his own way.
"When you get sick you fall into the clutches of the doctors because you are in a panic. I've had two years' experience, very severe chemotherapy and I've comfortably walked away, said I don't need you any more. This is my life and I will find the answer to it.
"I go to a doctor to file a report for my insurance company but I don't take any prescriptions or any advice. I am supposed to be dead! I'm just going with natural remedies."
Crowe played 77 tests and 143 one-day internationals for New Zealand, and is widely considered the country's greatest batsman.