A couple of weeks ago, New Zealand great Martin Crowe was diagnosed with cancer. Specifically, Crowe has been diagnosed with lymphoma, which affects part of the body's immune system.
I am particularly saddened by this. Martin Crowe is one of two players who got me into cricket in the first place. (I'll talk about the second one some other time.)
During the 1992 World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand, Crowe stood so far above the rest of the tournament that he almost single-handedly won it for the Kiwis. He kicked off the tournament with a century against Australia and put together a string of outstanding innings in front of packed home crowds, none better than his 81 not out against the West Indies. (See Martin Crowe's five best innings here.)
I 1992, I was just a young kid that had never paid any attention to cricket before. When I sat in front of the TV and watched Crowe's dazzling array of strokes, I was hooked. I wanted to be Martin Crowe - play for New Zealand, score centuries, lead them to glory.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, especially Twitter and Facebook, I've since learned that Crowe made quite an impact around the world as well. 1992 was televised to Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Africa, and anyone who watched could not help but be spellbound by a player at the very peak of his considerable powers.
My dream of playing for New Zealand never happened, but thanks to Martin Crowe, I am a cricket fan for life. It seems he has also inspired cricket fandom in millions of others. I'm sure we all hope he gets better soon.