Cricket World Cup: Martin Crowe says final could be his last match

Martin Crowe
Martin Crowe was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in February
World Cup final: Australia v New Zealand
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground. Date: Sun, 29 March. Time: 04:30 BST
Coverage: Live Test Match Special radio and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave & BBC Sport website, plus desktop, tablets, mobiles and app.

Ex-New Zealand captain Martin Crowe says the Black Caps' World Cup final against Australia could be the last cricket match he watches.

The 52-year-old, who will be at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, is battling cancer after his lymphoma returned in September.

"My precarious life ahead may not afford me the luxury of many more games to watch and enjoy," said Crowe.

"This is likely to be it. I can happily live with that."

Martin Crowe
Martin Crowe averaged 55 in his 21 World Cup matches, scoring 880 runs at a strike-rate of 83.57

Crowe, who is the second highest Test run-scorer in New Zealand history with 5,444 runs at an average of 45.36, captained the Kiwis in the 1992 World Cup which was also played in Australia and New Zealand.

Since then, Crowe has worked with some of the current crop of Black Caps players, including batsmen Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill, who made a staggering 237 off 163 balls in the quarter-final against West Indies.

It is the form of these two batting lynchpins which has boosted Crowe in his battle with illness.

"To see the two sons I never had, Ross Taylor and Marty Guptill, run out in black, in sync with their close comrades, drawing on all their resolve and resilience, will be mesmerically satisfying," he told Cricinfo.external-link

"I will hold back tears all day long. I will gasp for air on occasions. I will feel like a nervous parent.

"If New Zealand win, for the very first time they will step out of the All Blacks' shadows. That is arguably the greatest feat of all.

"And yet it could be relatively short-lived, as the All Blacks will soon enough step back into the breach to defend their world rugby crown in England come September, and attempt to create an unprecedented triumph of the nation holding two World Cups at the same time, in the same year."

Crowe was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma two years ago but it went into remission. Late last year, however, a new, more aggressive form of the disease, double-hit lymphoma, developed and he said he had been told only 5% of sufferers survive more than 12 months.

He has decided against chemotherapy and is instead trying natural treatments.