70 | Martin Crowe Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

70 | Martin Crowe Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

Greatest Kiwi Of All Time: No. 70 - Martin Crowe (Down 10 to 60 from last year)

17 test hundreds, a 45-run test batting average and 38 runs in ODI’s, he was one of the best we’d ever produced.  And on 31st January 1991 at the Basin Reserve, Martin Crowe was at the peak of his powers, scoring a frustrating 299 to save a test against Sri Lanka.

Martin Crowe was born in Henderson, Auckland into a family of cricketers.  His dad played cricket for Canterbury and his brother Jeff played for New Zealand.  In his final year at Auckland Grammar, he captained the school first XI and played on the wing in the first XV.  However the choice between rugby and cricket was always a no-brainer, and it is with the cricket bat he would etch his name into New Zealand sporting history.

By age 17, Crowe was playing for Auckland.  He would debut against Canterbury, scoring a half-century in his first innings.  The following year he would make 150, once again against Canterbury.  This kid was good with the bat.

He made his New Zealand debut in 1982 against Australia, one of our youngest players ever.

In January 1984, Crowe would make his first test century - against England - 100 runs exactly.

His reputation as a world-class batsman would grow over the next few years, with tonnes against the mighty West Indies and Australia.

Then, in 1992, Crowe was selected to captain New Zealand at the 1992 Cricket World Cup.  Even with the home advantage, New Zealand played beyond anyone's expectations.  We would lose to Pakistan in the semi-finals, however, Crowe was the tournament’s leading run-scorer and would be named player of the tournament.

Crowe had struggled with injuries for years and, in 1993, decided to have surgery to fix things once and for all.  However, there were only a few more seasons left in Crowe - he would retire the captaincy in 1993, and retire permanently in 1995.

After his retirement Crowe created a new, shorter, version of the game - “Cricket Max”.  Strangely there were four stumps, it would be a precursor to the Twenty20 version we have today.  He would become a commentator and pundit, heading up commentary teams for Sky Television.  Then, in 1992, it was revealed Crowe had been diagnosed with lymphoma.  It would go into remission the following year, before returning with a vengeance in 2014.

Martin Crowe.  Played with skill, charisma and heart.  We loved him.  We miss him.  One of Today FM’s Greatest Kiwi’s of All Time.