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Martin Crowe © Gallo Images

Crowe blames touring rigours for cancer



Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe on Thursday blamed illnesses picked up touring during a 13-year international cricket career for his diagnosis with the cancer lymphoma.

Crowe said his cancer was "very treatable" and he would battle it with the same determination he displayed during his playing days.

"My mindset and fierce focus has kicked in just like it did when approaching a long innings in a test match," he said in a statement. "I will focus on the important things in front of me, and nothing else."

The 50-year-old said he believed his immune system had been weakened by illness while on the road with the Black Caps, leaving him vulnerable to the cancer, which he said was grade two follicular lymphoma.

"In the past, on travels during my cricket career, suffering salmonella and glandular fever has compromised me," he said.

"The result of a weakened immune system over the last two decades is basically why I have become exposed to this sort of disease.

Crowe, who scored a record 17 centuries for New Zealand in his 77-test career and is regarded as the country's greatest batsman, said he had been buoyed by expressions of support since he went public with his diagnosis.

"I am overwhelmed by the support and concern by so many around the world and wish to say a massive thanks... it has enabled me to come to terms with the shock from my recent lymphoma diagnosis faster."

Crowe said the cancer had affected the lymph nodes in his neck, armpits and stomach.

"It is very treatable. It is not aggressive," he said. "Treatment will be decided in due course after further tests and consultation in the next two weeks."

Crowe, a cousin of Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, averaged 45.36 with the bat in a test career which spanned from 1982-1995.

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