Russell Crowe looks set to miss his much-loved cousin's funeral.

The Oscar-winning actor was among heavyweights of the entertainment and sporting communities who shared heartfelt tributes to New Zealand cricketing great Martin Crowe after his death on Thursday.

Russell tweeted: "My champion, my hero, my friend. I will love you forever. RIP M.D. Crowe."

Martin will be farewelled at Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral on Friday afternoon. But Russell's management yesterday told the Daily Telegraph that overseas commitments meant a trip back to the nation of his birth for the funeral was unlikely.


Crowe's family and friends - including his wife of seven years, Lorraine Downes - were yesterday confirming funeral plans.

Holy Trinity Cathedral communications advisor Reverend Jayson Rhodes last night said the "funeral is a time for Lorraine and family, as well as friends, to give thanks for a much loved husband and father".

The planning included potential live feeds of the funeral to websites around the world.

"For Martin it was important that anyone could be part of the day, be that in the cathedral or relying on media coverage."

Black Cap stars Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor have spoken of Crowe for the first time since the death of their mentor.

Taylor introduced himself to Crowe as a 21-year-old, soon before starting international cricket.

"He was passionate, emotional, a genius and probably misunderstood. A close friendship blossomed and in the end I think a lot of people knew he had a kind heart. He just wanted to be included and give back.

"Some of my best innings came from his advice the night before a match. I wouldn't be the player I am without his guidance."

Guptill said he "felt numb" when he heard the news.