AUCKLAND: Zealand great Martin Crowe was inducted into Cricket’s Hall of Fame on Saturday, the terminally ill former batsman describing it as a “great honour” and prompting a standing ovation from 40,000 fans at Eden Park.
Known as one of the game’s most stylish batsmen, the 52-year-old became the third New Zealander behind Richard Hadlee and Debbie Hockley, and 79th in the world, to receive the honour.
“I am pleased to get this prestigious award, especially joining my friend Richard Hadlee,” said Crowe, after being awarded his commemorative cap from International Cricket Council (ICC) director and chairman of Cricket Australia, Wally Edwards.
Crowe dedicated the award to his father Dave and mother Audrey.
“I wish to dedicate this award to my father and mother who supported the game for 40 years,” said cancer-stricken Crowe who had been diagnosed with a rare blood disease, double-hit lymphoma.
Crowe made his international debut against Australia in Wellington in February 1982 at the age of 19. He retired 13 years later after playing 77 Tests, having scored 5,444 runs at an average of 45.36.
This included 17 centuries, the most by a New Zealand cricketer, while his 299 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in January 1991 stood as a national record until Brendon McCullum scored 302 against India in Wellington last year.
Crowe also played 143 one-day internationals in which he scored 4,704 runs at an average of 38.55 with four centuries and 34 half-centuries.
He played in three World Cups and led New Zealand to the semi-final of the 1992 tournament, where his side lost to eventual champions Pakistan in Auckland.
He also captained New Zealand in 16 Tests and 44 ODIs.
Crowe, who was at Eden Park to see New Zealand take on Australia in the World Cup on Saturday, wished Brendon McCullum and his team the best of luck.
“New Zealand’s performance is pleasing and I wish them the best of luck in this World Cup,” said Crowe after seeing the Black Caps dismiss Australia for just 151.