Tributes flow as former New Zealand legend Martin Crowe laid to rest in emotional funeral

Hollywood star Russell Crowe, who is a cousin of the greatest Kiwi batsman, acted as a pallbearer.

Updated: Mar 11, 2016, 10:50 AM IST
Tributes flow as former New Zealand legend Martin Crowe laid to rest in emotional funeral

New Delhi: Cricketing fraternity honoured former New Zealand skipper and legend Martin Crowe in an emotional funeral in Auckland.

Hollywood star Russell Crowe, who is a cousin of the greatest Kiwi batsman, acted as a pallbearer.

Around 1,000 mourners were said to have packed Auckland`s Holy Trinity Cathedral to remember Crowe, who died on March 4 after a long battle with cancer.

The 53-year-old's brother Jeff, who was also a skipper of the New Zealand team, said Martin was a true inspiration.

"It had never really dawned on me... what a huge splash he made, what a true inspiration he was," Jeff said.

He added that he was touched by Wasim Akram's comments on how Martin was the greatest batsman the Pakistan pacer ever bowled to.

"Wasim Akram reminded me just the other day that Martin was the greatest batsman he ever bowled to -- no higher praise than that," he added.

Jeff was in Bangladesh on umpiring duties, when Martin passed away.

Ex-Black Caps wicketkeeper Ian Smith read out a message from Australian great Allan Border, who went on to become a good friend of Martin.

"Cricket has lost one of its iconic players. He will be fondly remembered, greatly missed but never forgotten, a true champion," Border said.

He also added on how he will always see Crowe.

"I`ll always see a great man at the crease. White helmet, silver fern on... playing the most perfect straight drive back past the bowler for four."

Smith shared some lighter memories, such as Crowe imitating opponents` techniques during rain delays in the dressing room and forcing team-mates to repeatedly watch films featuring his Oscar-winning cousin.

"(Martin) was in `Gladiator` as an extra, he was a senator -- well he was never going to be a footsoldier was he?" Smith said in relation to Russel's Oscar winning drama.

Russell Crowe made the trip to New Zealand with his children.

(With Agency inputs)