Martin David Crowe was a former New Zealand cricketer, commentator and author. The receipient of Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1985, he was credited as one of the "best young batsmen in the world".
A classical batsman with a wide range of shots and seemingly all the time in the world to play them, Martin Crowe came from a cricketing family. He was born on September 1962 in Henderson, Auckland, to Dave Crowe, a former New Zealand domestic cricketer. His brother Jeff also represented New Zealand. Crowe made his Test debut aged 19, quickly being tagged with the label of best young batsman in the world. He broke a series of records, despite being blighted by injuries which included a broken shin, back trouble, torn hamstrings and in later years, serious knee injuries.
Crowe represented four domestic cricket teams in his career- Auckland, Central Districts, Somerset and Wellington. He scored nearly 20,000 first-class runs, with 71 centuries. His average of 56.02 is one of the highest first-class averages of all time among the New-Zealanders.
With Richard Hadlee, Crowe was at the heart of a New Zealand side which enjoyed considerable success in the 1980s. In a 77 match Test career, Crowe scored 5444 runs at a fine average of 45.36. His best innings was a superb 299 against Sri Lanka in 1991, which is still the record for the highest Test score by a New Zealand batsman. During that innings he shared a 467-run partnership with Andrew Jones, at the time the highest partnership in Test history until 2009, but still remains the third highest. He also played 143 One Day International, averaging 38.55, and hit four centuries and 34 half-centuries.
He also made the highest number of runs in the 1992 Cricket World Cup, in which New Zealand came first in the league round before losing to Pakistan in the semi-final. Hadlee's retirement only served to increase the pressure on him, but in 1994 he led the line, almost hobbling at times, with 380 runs in three Tests against England. He carried on for another 18 months but the final few Tests were too much for his crumbling body. Whilst captaining in the 1992 World Cup, New Zealand lost only two matches.
Crowe played many important knocks for the English county side Somerset. In one such match against Leicestershire - then Championship leaders - at Taunton Somerset were in trouble against a fit and hostile Andy Roberts on a fresh pitch. Crowe took many a blows on his body and compiled a gutsy 70 in that match. In the second innings he made 190, which was generally assessed as a brilliant effort. It also gave him a very high regard for his partner, Peter Roebuck, whose 128 helped to give Somerset an almost incredible victory. Needing 341 to win in 87 overs, Somerset were 3 for two when they started their record stand of 319.
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