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Former New Zealand batsman and captain

How McCullum helped me let go

Not scoring a triple-century has weighed heavy on this writer, but New Zealand's captain has helped lay that personal bogey to rest

Martin Crowe

February 18, 2014

Comments: 119 | Text size: A | A

Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum walk out after lunch, New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 1st day, March 15, 2012
Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor have led the rejuvenation of New Zealand cricket © AFP
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Thank you, Brendon. You have capped the most incredible of weekends, the most important of summers.

The majority of the words to follow will focus on the magnificence of Brendon McCullum's deeds over the last two weeks in particular, and of a period that exemplifies humanity at its best. Before I do I first need to be honest with you all about a personal development that came about as I witnessed these latest marvels.

I have shared the belief that I became riddled with cancer due to my toxic suppression of negative events throughout my life. What isn't known is that one of those demons was my decision to not field against Pakistan in the semi-final of the 1992 World Cup, and to instead put my torn hamstring on ice, elevated and compressed, in an attempt to be fit for the final at the MCG, four days later. I thought we had enough on the board (262 on a slow, low pitch) and the medical advice was that to be fit to play in four days I needed to elevate and ice immediately, and therefore not field. I have regretted that decision for nearly 22 years.

On Saturday, day two of the second Test at the Basin, while India dominated New Zealand, I delivered an address to a large audience as part of the 1992 World Cup team reunion. The occasion marked exactly one year to the start of the next World Cup, to be held again in New Zealand and Australia.

As I admitted my regret of that decision, I broke down. As I looked into the eyes of Ian Smith, Andrew Jones, Dipak Patel, Mark Greatbatch and the rest of the squad, I choked up completely. From deep within, the pain of that regret surfaced unexpectedly. I somehow finished my speech and sat down next to my wife, Lorraine. She had not known of this pain, and now it was finally out. As I sat there I realised I was free of a curse that had tormented me for over two decades.

In very dark times I blamed others, like John Wright, and I felt guilty at having done so. In truth, I simply blamed myself. It was the one real chance for glory for my country, to lift the World Cup, and I was beside myself that I had misjudged the moment, under the West Stand at Eden Park that day. Yet one demon remained.

February 4, 1991. Basin Reserve. I never forgave myself for getting out for 299 against Sri Lanka. Not a week would go by when I wouldn't be reminded of the one run I craved so much. It tore at me like a vulture pecking dead flesh. I did not know how to let it go, could never laugh at the absurdity of my anger. Ultimately it contributed to a dislike of myself, and to a notion that I was not worthy enough. I was desperate to be liked and I thought scoring big hundreds would suffice. I even thought one more run would be enough. I was staggeringly naïve to think so. I missed the entire point of life, how it should be appreciated.

In the last year, through counselling and various unexpected moments, I have learnt to let go. On day one of our summer, the first day of the first Test between New Zealand and West Indies in Dunedin, when McCullum and Ross Taylor embraced each other upon reaching their respective centuries, I felt a massive weight lift from within, as I sensed they did. I was genuinely pleased for both players, equally. It was truly symbolic.

And now today, with Brendon scoring our nation's first ever triple-hundred, I have finally removed the one remaining stone in my shoe. It's pathetic to even have to do so, yet massively necessary. Yes, it has been quite an uplifting few days of personal selfish rehabilitation. But enough of my personal crap; I will bore you no more. Forgive me for the purge, but it sets the scene for what I really want to say.

Cricket in New Zealand has experienced a euphoric awakening. What Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum have achieved these last few months is monumentally epic. They have inspired their team, a team that has been in the doldrums for too long. Indeed they have reinvigorated a cricket nation, and most importantly encouraged many young aspiring athletes to dream big. This is what sport at its best does: it offers hopes and dreams for all, and if you are positively aroused from a young age it can steer your life down that personal path to fulfilment. To actually see magnificence on your nation's sporting stage is to suck in the air of its very excellence. You get moved by it. Richard Hadlee did it for me. And so these two team-mates this summer have done it for their fellow men and those to follow.

 
 
I never forgave myself for getting out for 299 against Sri Lanka. Not a week would go by when I wouldn't be reminded of the one run I craved so much. It tore at me like a vulture pecking dead flesh
 

McCullum was always a leader. He did it at under-19 level superbly. Taylor was in that team, three years the junior. So McCullum should always have assumed the mantle of national captain one day - a natural step from vice-captaincy to Dan Vettori. Somehow he got laid off from the vice-captaincy in 2009, Taylor reluctantly stepping into the breach.

Four long years later McCullum is the true leader, marching his men forward with exemplary and extraordinary example.

With New Zealand 30 for 3 in Auckland, he strode in and dismantled the Indian attack for 224, setting up a stunning, close-fought victory. To then contemplate a dire situation with a stirring rearguard action only days later, in the second Test, and occupy the crease longer than any Kiwi has ever done, speaks volumes of his character and his stamina. For a man with career-threatening back- and knee injuries screaming at him, it simply defies all odds.

From the little I know of Brendon, he is a sensitive, intensely proud, even emotionally driven, human. By removing the emotion from his game he allowed the right energy to flow through his game, settling him into a zone of fierce focus and determination, where he was always aware the job was never done. He showed that with responsibility he could seek a new wisdom, a better way, and that a large picture can only be created one fluent stroke at a time. His defence was immaculate, his footwork aligned and flowing, to making the bowler bend down to field, his concentration built one over at a time.

Taylor set the scene in December, batting over 20 hours in three Tests, yet McCullum has added a new layer, achieving even better in just two. He has set the bar that others like Kane Williamson will now aim at, and which will challenge Taylor further. McCullum has a blueprint from which he, and hundreds of youth watching, can call upon again and again.

It's all about relevance. The canvas at summer's start was bare; now it oozes genius and richness. The landscape has been redrawn for good, and the portrait is of proud, resilient, inspirational New Zealand cricket men fulfilling their gift and their want, and calling on others to walk this newfound path.

The next generation's DNA is already building on the work of these two men this summer, who not long ago were forced innocently to stand 12 paces apart from each other, eye to eye, guns at the ready. Yet as we know happens in life, the pleasure came along at the right moment, when it was meant to, to give us balance and faith again.

It is another worthy story of love, not war.

Martin Crowe, one of the leading batsmen of the late '80s and early '90s, played 77 Tests for New Zealand

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Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

@Insightful2013 Sir/Madam, Please read these lines as they are... I am not leaving anything between them. You may agree that a person judges others reflecting most frequently from their own (personal) life experience, knowledge, wisdom (or, lack thereof), prejudices, empathy, likes & dislikes, premonitions, fears, jealousy etc. In brief, others and their actions are perceived via a filter of who **we** really are. Hence, no wonder, Martin's article (or, any article on this website) brings about such diverse responses. Yours here is quite interesting, I admit. Stay tuned with this column please. You make for a good after-read.

Posted by Insightful2013 on (February 20, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

I also suggest you get to know Brendon better before you characterize him. Also, your article appears to diminish previous Kiwi cricketers efforts until now. I was always a fan of your batting and though this article appears cathartic, I think, it demonstrates, cunning,more. For someone as brilliant as you were, I think you had to be selfish and very intense and not the sensitive chap, you appear to be projecting. Which, I am grateful for, since I did so enjoy your exploits. I'm also happy that so many others are inspired by this story and not as analytical as I am, re reading between the lines. I do enjoy your articles because you are a such a good writer but this martyrdomish style, is beneath you. Forgive the neologisms. Your true character is much more admirable and you shouldn't stray from it.

Posted by MeijiMura on (February 20, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

I'm not sure batting second would have helped much anyway, certainly not with John Wright in the side opening the batting. He was always so slow and it would have placed even more pressure on Mark Greatbatch, Andrew Jones, yourself, Kenny Rutherford and everyone else to follow in the line-up. Furthermore against the likes of Wasim and Imran, as others have pointed out, it would have been no easy task chasing down whatever total Pakistan set. It was a shame that the two sides that played the best cricket consistently throughout the tournament didn't play off in the final (New Zealand and South Africa) but it just wasn't to be. South Africa's decision to bowl first against England, the crucial drop catch off Hick early on and the weather all proved to be decisive factors in South Africa's loss. Your injury at a crucial time in the match cost you a century which would have lifted everyone and taken NZ to 280+, but it just wasn't to be. It was destined to be an England v Pakistan final.

Posted by MeijiMura on (February 20, 2014, 13:49 GMT)

Martin, you rank amongst the classiest batsmen I have ever seen and certainly the best batsman to come out of New Zealand in at least the past thirty years if not in the history of New Zealand cricket. I have often thought about John Wright's role in the semi-final loss to Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup myself. His inclusion and slow batting along with your injury as you were rapidly approaching your century were major reasons why New Zealand didn't get the 280-300 that would have made Pakistan's chase a really difficult one. Mark Greatbatch's failure was also pivotal to the end result. He was the batsman who provided NZ with the impetus at the start of the innings. You can't blame yourself for being injured though. You also can't blame yourself for the result. I think New Zealand were light-on for bowlers and coming up against such a strong Pakistan batting line-up with Rameez, Javed, Imran and Inzamam amongst others there is no guarantee they wouldn't have chased down 280-300 anyway.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 3:48 GMT)

M.D.CROWE n.o....in life.That's special enough. Kudos to you for laying your soul bare to us cricket tragics

Posted by SameOld on (February 20, 2014, 2:31 GMT)

@jaredr:

Maybe it's just you. From the looks of the majority of comments here, MC has plenty of fans, as a cricketer and a writer. He's payed to give *his* perspective because he is Martin Crowe: the guy who will overshare a bit, drop in a few sentences or ideas that will stop you in your tracks, and put a slightly different spin on the stuff every cricket wonk is chattering about this week. How many sports writers offer all that in a column or podcast?

Posted by mshyder on (February 20, 2014, 1:34 GMT)

Based on current form and players NZ should go places in the years to come. All they need to find is better opening test pair. Foultan in particular needs to be replaced by someone who can occupy the crease for longer duration. Rutherford may be given few more chances but he needs to learn to put a higher price for his wicket. Other than that NZ is perhaps to most balanced and talented side along with Australia at the moment. They just need to play more tests in the next 12-18 months and their ranking will definitely jump high. Wonder if they would get more tests under the new system as the Big 3 would be scared to play against them.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 22:53 GMT)

I hope you read these comments, because its great to see you coming back to cricket and writing wonderful articles and advising again. I was saddened when youi said no more! Its great also to see how you have matured and changed for the better seeing life in a fuller perspective. WELL DONE, kudos and respect!

Posted by Joll on (February 19, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

It's sad a batsman can view an innings of 299 as being a failure. Bradman once scored 299 not out but, to my knowledge, never complained about the one run in that innings he did not score. It seems Crowe is unneccesarily harsh on himself. He does not focus on what did achieve; rather, he focuses on what he didn't achieve. This is very negative. Did Bradman make much of the fact he did not average 100 in tests, but instead averaged 99.94? No, he didn't, because he realised his achievements far outweighed his failures. Crowe should realise the same.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 20:01 GMT)

First of all Martin should never regret what has gone before. He was a talented and exceptional batsman who gave so much to world and New Zealand cricket. I hope what he prophesies in his article is indeed what proves to occur in the future. New Zealand, by population, is the smallest of the test cricket nations and cricket is not even it's number one game. However, it can produce good teams and I hope Brendon's innings as well as the successes of this summer inspire a new interest amongst the kiwi public and continued success. You can't expect New Zealand to be the number one test team but there is no reason why it can't be competitive and have series wins. I hope they do as it's a marvellous nation and one I have always wished well. A strong New Zealand would be good for cricket and increased competitiveness in the game. I hope they do well and continue their run when they go away to the West Indies soon

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 18:59 GMT)

Martin, you write like a man possessed. You speak from the core and find your way to the core of wordless people like myself. I grew up watching Cricket and I clearly remember the days of the 1992 world cup when India flunked like a flake of snow on a hot plate. Back then, for what you all did to the Indian team, I hated no one more than Mark Greatbatch, Deepak Patel and you (for making those two other gentlemen hate-worthy). But along with hatred came respect. The art of respecting what commands it is not a common thing in a community of mad Indian cricket fans, but you and your team inspired that in me. I remember, I supported your unbeaten team in that semi-final and was not happy to see Miandad take it away. Many world cups later, there has never been another similar lesson in growing up in appreciating good cricket ahead of being a die-hard fan of a team. You can say, like the shoulder patch of 1992 jerseys, I found my cricketing rainbow then. Thank you for that Martin.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 17:34 GMT)

Dear Martin,

Don't regret the decision not to field first in the 1992 Semi. The momentum that Imran's Pakistan had at the time was probably unbeatable, not to mention that chasing a total against the prospect of Wasim's yorkers would have been hard (note what he did in the final).

I am not the first person to tell you this, but I just don't think Pakistan would have lost the match either way. Their momentum was just too unstoppable.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

crowes latest book was the single most moving autobiography I have ever read. this article is up there too. great that in one summer of cricket he can put some demons to rest that he didn't deserve to suffer. well done to all 3 of these great kiwis.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 15:09 GMT)

I still remember in 1987, an oz team beat hot favourites pak at home, it was black day of cricket history in Pakistan. crowd at the ground crying, millions of people cursing every member of team and blaming them for taking the opponents easy etc. then after 4 years when pak was at the verge of victory, tv cameras start showing kiwi players, their sad faces made me sad once again. home ground... home team favourite... losing semi final . every thing looked like 1987 semi final at Lahore. I again started crying like it was my team losing again. I still like crowe, danny Morrison, greatbatch and others bcoz of that Lahore-Auckland similar scenes of semi final sad crowd sad home team. you are not the only one to regret Martin Crowe!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 15:00 GMT)

It'll be a shame if New Zealand don't win the WC .They deserve to win have the most balanced team. Hope Ryder can sort himself before WC .Nmac makes a perfect ODI spinner .Vettori is hinting at the end of his career by taking coaching role with RCB.He was the most unlucky guy coming at the worst time in NZ cricket. BMac R Taylor and KW form perfect middle order with hitters like Neesham Anderson and ronchi to follow. They have amazing fast bowlers no doubt .Southee Mccleanaghan and Boult/Mills should be the three bowlers . Man look at the team with Sodhi Henry and others waiting in wings. Yup they'll be the team of the next decade most likely .How are they ranked No 8 is a mystery

Posted by vishcricket on (February 19, 2014, 13:23 GMT)

Martin you are arguably the biggest Kiwi legend after Sir Richard Hadlee. 1992 was fabulous WC and your tactics of using Dipak Patel to start the bowling attack was awesome and to see Mark Greatbatch walking down the pitch to bowlers like Malcom Marshall was unbelievable. Felt really sad as you guys lost two consecutive games .and suddenly went from favorites to Out of WC ( Inzy had a terrific game) But u always commanded respect and i'm sure all cricket lovers admire you the same way

Posted by jaredr on (February 19, 2014, 12:45 GMT)

Martin you have done it again, you always seem to bring a story back to something about yourself. I don't doubt what talent you had, you were a workhorse and so anal retentive on technique that you became a fantastic player but you also have a huge ego that you can't seem to let go of. It shows when you commentate, it shows on your pod casts and it makes you extremely unlikable.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 12:35 GMT)

An article as masterful as your finest innings. No shame in 299... Many of the greats didn't get that far. I'm just glad that you are still actively involved in NZ cricket. It's good to know they have such a positive role model to draw inspiration from as they rebuild their side. I think this current group and those coming through, make it the most promising Kiwi cricket has looked in over 20 years

Posted by Kschneider on (February 19, 2014, 10:05 GMT)

Martin Crowe always was an odd character. His highly strung nerves seems to have been one of the rerasons why he put so much effort into his batting and oddly enough was a source of his batting class. As an NZ supporter I think Crowe shouldn't feel anything but pride about his 299 runs inings and 1992 semi-final appearance. They were both great acheivements in their own right and much appreciated by us NZ fans.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

Even though we were the lucky ones to win that world cup semi final, we always have respected you and your squad. I was a kid at that time but your team was my 2nd favorite. Your are one of the greatest of the cricket. Even 22 years later you will find a huge fan base and NZ supporters in Pakistan. This week we stayed up late to witness McCullum's historic moment. I think NZ is the only team left in the world that does not resort to unethical tactics like verbal sledging and etc. To keen observers, your team is like a reference book to learn sportsmanship. Respect!!!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

92 world cup was a dream time for nz cricket. I remember watching every match including the untimely rise of inzaman ul huq. now Im sure this series will last in my mind forever too. funny how it was in the reunion for you guys. Rod Latham must have enjoyed it especially.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

"It's the dream of every maaaaannn...To Play....The Best that he Caaannnn...It's that Fire deep insiiiiiide...That Keeps this Game Aliiiiiiiive.......Who'll Rule the Wooooorlddd....???" How apt for those words ring true now as they ever did, thanks in large part to Martin Crowe.

The 1992 WC took the ODI format to a new level and kindled interest in the WC like never before seen, and which has only gone from strength to strength. Coloured clothing, white balls, Day/Night cricket, fielding restrictions, innovations to approaching batting, bowling and fielding...playing within your limitations to still achieve maximum advantage/results. Truly a pioneer and entrepreneur Crowe would take those strategies into Cricket Max (a forerunner to T20). And so Martin, it's great to see the fire inside rekindled through your writing. Pakistan may have won on the day, but Martin your contribution and legacy from 1992 will forever live on in our hearts.

Posted by steve48 on (February 19, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

Whatever personal demons you feel a need to admit to, Mr Crowe, they pale in comparison to your obvious desire, need even, for New Zealand cricket to aspire to more than it has, and perhaps more to the point for you, individuals to seek greater glories and fulfill their talent. I just hope in the future, those you feel a need to criticise appreciate your true motivation, do no take offense, and are humble enough to respect your position in New Zealand cricket as one of the all time greats!

Posted by ZaneMartin on (February 19, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

Marty I'd like to echo the comments of Kevin Welsh further down. One thing you never needed to feel was that you'd let down NZ cricket fans. The enjoyment and pride you gave us was immeasurable; you were my hero then. Still are.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

1992 WC for NZ was even more magical because of the context leading into that tournament. NZ had just lost comprehensively to England in the test and ODI series. Crowe's own form had been suspect. Greatbatch was considered lucky to make the squad and only made it into the playing eleven thru Wright's injury. No one - not even die-hard Kiwi fans - expected NZ to get as far as they eventually did at the start of the tournament. Australia were the raging hot favourites and had form on their side leading into the cup. So much for form = temporary; class = permanent. Crowe's tactics heralded a new dawn for teams' approach to the ODI. Sri Lanka's blueprint in 1996 owes much to NZ's campaign in 1992. So while NZ did not ending up winning on that day in March 1992, our performance during the cup has had an enduring legacy for the ODI format. And for that Martin Crowe, you should celebrate; and we celebrate with you. If 1992 was a fairytale, here's hoping we can add to that story in2015

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

Mr. Crowe your articles are deep abd help us to reflect in our daily lives. Thank you.

Posted by LillianThomson on (February 19, 2014, 8:51 GMT)

I'm also a very proud Kiwi, and in your career you made me more proud than words can say.

And 1992 sealed your greatness anyway. Nobody remembers the 1954 and 1974 West German soccer sides which won the World Cup with huge pharmaceutical help. They remember the Hungary of Puskas and the Holland of Cruyff which lit up those tournaments.

1992 is just the same. It doesn't matter - never mattered - that we didn't win.

1992 will live forever for Crowe, Greatbatch, Patel, Wasim Akram and Inzamam-ul-Haq. 3 Kiwis and 2 Pakistanis. Maybe Eddo Brandes too.

You were the greatest batsman we've ever produced and you are the greatest current cricket writer.

We're proud of you. Very, very proud.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 8:51 GMT)

Your article is a pleasure to read Martin. Your personal realisations and insight in to your past and release from the guilt and pain is heroic. Your courage to speak openly like this is your greatest achievement, and that's amazing since you were one heck of a cricketer! All power to you.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

You were always a great batsman the Greg Chappell of NZ. On the 1992 World Cup Semi Final you lost because of the one dimensional nature of your attack and the fact that you could not get out a young Inzamam in time. It is not your fault. About the 299, I have not seen the innings but it also saved the match against Sri Lanka.

For me you were one of the great batsmen of the 1980s and early 90s. This article was humble and touching. If only our cricketers were like you in nature........

Posted by vatsap on (February 19, 2014, 8:36 GMT)

Amazing and so candid. I remember the 92 WC semis and wanted NZ to win, they were the best team and most innovative (Patel, Greatbach, Dibly, Dobbly and Wobbly + the traditional Martin Crowe). At half way mark, thought the match was all sewed up, Pakistan proved to be great winners at the end but what if MC was on the field leading.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (February 19, 2014, 8:12 GMT)

Haaa, everyone has such stones in their shoes that they want to remove. Though I havent played at high level, I still remember playing for my local club in a 25 over match in a semifinal. I had paced my innings brilliantly - playing on 90 at the 20th over and wanting to go to next gear of six hitting in the last 5 overs. And in that worst moment that one ball kept low (a bloody damn shooter) and got past my bat and hit the wicket, and we lost that match in the last over. Knowing that if I was batting in the last 5 overs, we would have got a score beyond their dreams, that shooter still haunts me. Everybody have such moment Martin, be it the highest of levels you guys played or the local club games the very lesser guys like me play. Thats the beauty of the game.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

You are a true legend of the game sir..not just by the way u played it and led a team but what we know of you as a person. You have always been one of my heroes in my growing up years..I remember how fascinated I was as an 11yr.old getting up at 3am india time to see Mark Greatbatch demolish attacks..or dipak patel bowling 1st over in d match...you and your team inspired us and opened up an entire new way of how this fabulous game is played and analysed. Being an Indian i love my team and i am too patriotic to support any other team for that matter..but it was 1992 world cup that made me love cricket and admire the variuos simplicities and complexities this game has..the brand of cricket you guys played opened up our imaginations. I remember I cried the day NZ lost to Pakistan in semis...not cuz I was a kiwi but cuz I loved the way you guys played & i wanted u to win the cup. India 1st..cricket 2nd changed to Cricket First cuz of U. Thank u and your wonderful team for d memories.

Posted by Akhter786 on (February 19, 2014, 7:22 GMT)

Exceptional piece of writing. Martin Crowe, the name i always heard from my father whenever he spoke of his era's best batsmen. I was just four years old when that WC semifinal of 92 had happened. But i always admired someone named Martin Crowe. Now reading your articles stir an inexplicable feeling in me. Sure i will share this one with my father. As someone has already mentioned that 299 is an iconic number, absolutely it is.

Brilliantly portrayed emotions in a sports article. I am looking forward for more of such articles from you on cricinfo or what.

Posted by Thuram3 on (February 19, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

Magnificent article once again Mr Crowe!!! U did it again, I look forward to this kind of brilliance from you all the time. Thank you!!!!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

Martin, you were my hero as a teenager, a batsman who made the art look so effortless. Thank you for sharing what were painful and troubling moments in your life. I too sense an 'awakening' in this team of young New Zealand men and am genuinely excited about the immediate future of cricket in New Zealand. This is a wonderful article and I appreciate the sincerity of your writing. Keep up the good work!

Posted by Vikramaditya100 on (February 19, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

I have only seen clips of Martin batting on Youtube... he had such beautiful balance... I admit i tried to copy it... :) And he is if possible an even better writer... he has no shyness... He bares out his emotions loudly yet articulately... I plan to get a copy of his autobiography... RAW... Keep writing sir... it is just awesome...

Posted by Longmemory on (February 19, 2014, 6:05 GMT)

As an Indian all I can say to the Kiwis is "you're welcome guys." And remember, any time your spirits need uplifting, and you need to sail out of the doldrums, we're there for you (and for every darned country out there that needs it).

Posted by Pea_81 on (February 19, 2014, 5:53 GMT)

What a great article. I had a tear in my eye reading it. I would never have imagined the torment felt by International cricketers about their deep regrets. I was really moved by the honesty and humility that came through the text. Thank you.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

Sheer humbleness from Crowe.. Adorable writing and loved the way he cherished this record.

Posted by DarwinAkbar on (February 19, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

As a New Zealander growing up in the 80s/90s, I very fondly remembered that World Cup. We (kids) were obviously devastated by the NZ loss to Pakistan then, but had completely forgotten about the circumstances (your injury), and never did we imagined the toll it had on you. I still view that World Cup, and your 299, as two of the highlights in this country's cricket history. About the 299: there is something beautiful about a number just below perfection. It is a testament that we are all mere mortals. The only other player to have made 299 (a not out, in fact, which surely had to be worse!) was none other than Don Bradman, so you are in exalted company. On the same subject, if "The Don's" 99.94 was another number just below perfection that is the most iconic number in the sport, your 299 would certainly be the most iconic number in NZ cricket. Every cricket follower in the country, even among kids, know about the 299. It is a number to be proud of!

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 19, 2014, 5:20 GMT)

The best ever batsman NZ produced, Martin! you are a even better writer. I am really impressed.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 5:17 GMT)

Martin, you are finally at piece. I can almost feel you letting go of so much as you write this. Your writing is incisive and emotional and yet is extremely logical. Thank you for constantly reminding us of the cricket we all love and not the cricket that is described in dollars, value, and statistics.

Posted by Arslan_Javed on (February 19, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

Dear Martin: You are one of the most appreciated batsman of your era as per saying by none other then Imran Khan. That semi final was and/ is a golden history of modern Cricket. Yes you almost won that match on your own but that lose of you was a great win for us. But to keep your heart big we admit that inside we know had you been on field that day it would be more difficult to achieve that feat.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (February 19, 2014, 5:09 GMT)

Everybody loves cricketing records not just Indians. The records belong not just to the player but to the nation, which is why so many people came on the last day of the Test match just to watch Brendon cross the 300 mark, the first time by a Kiwi. Achieving a milestone or a record brings with it a great amount of satisfaction, wellness and a sense of accomplishment, to the player and the nation. This sense of release and freedom of the spirit which helps us believe that more can be achieved is priceless. Now, one can truly imagine and appreciate the magnitude of Sachin's contribution through his innumerable records to the Indian cricket fans. Records define and give shape and form to our heroes. They are not mere stats!

Posted by si_rangi on (February 19, 2014, 5:03 GMT)

What a moving story written by the best batsman New Zealand has produced. The candor and honesty in which this is written is an inspiration. Like Sir John Kirwan in rugby, New Zealand has another former sports star who has confronted and beaten their demons and are strong enough to publicly share their private and at times life endangering battles. Thank MC for such a well written article.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

I started watching cricket since 1995 but when ever I asked my uncle about past good batsman Martin, and viv richards topped his list. and after reading this great article i think he was very much right. Respect for a man praising other so beautifully, and feeling the pain of his mistakes.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 4:47 GMT)

What an amazing piece of authorship Martin Crowe .. As Danish Mukarram has mentioned in his comments, you were always praised by WASIM AKRAM during his interviews as the batsman who would use to play him well. Being a Pakistani, though we defeated you in that Semi Final, we had lots of respect for you still. And above all, it is extremely joyous that you are giving value to you Cricket. Being a cricket lover in South Asia maybe somewhat instinctive , but if someone from your countries love cricket, it really means a lot to me. I wish i could celebrate alongside you this series win from New Zealand. I followed the whole series ball by ball as if Pakistan was playing India. I had tears in my eyes when Brendon reached his 300. I am dead sure, that personalities like yourself will only boost cricket in your country. We Pakistanis really respect New Zealand and you Martin. Thanks for this great article and don't stop.

Posted by godshand on (February 19, 2014, 4:43 GMT)

A very informative and thought provoking article, very rarely a cricketer is found to be so upright.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

awsome article i cannot forget that inning vs pakistan in 1992 world cup i remember was praying to God that crowd not to cum in the field

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 4:11 GMT)

A great article MDC. I admire your ability to put fingers to the keyboard and write from the heart and in doing so the honest is expressed so eloquently. I so enjoy reading your work.

Posted by satchander on (February 19, 2014, 3:56 GMT)

Felt very emotional on reading this article...It takes a lot of guts to come out in the open and speak about the pain of world cup 2012 semi-final or that 299...Hats off to you Martin.....NZ is a small country but they have toppled the might Indians (ranked #2) and NZ deserve fully the victory and the celebration of the first ever NZ triple hundred by Brendon...

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 3:42 GMT)

Superlative Martin. Your personal story was not indulgent in the least. Your soul bared and now cleansed. Well done to you....even from here in Oz you were always admired for the way you played the game, your graceful batting and strong will.

Posted by Dono68 on (February 19, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

Actually Martin, your 188 against Australia at the Gabba was the best innings I had the pleasure of seeing. It was part of what I still consider the 'perfect' test match for NZ, with the complete bowling performance of Hadlee - I wonder if he still relives his catch for wicket ten? :) - a wonderful dogged innings by Reid, and it just goes on. Skipped school to watch, but learnt so much more from those few November days, as your article so nicely reflects on. Your generosity of spirit for McCullum gives all those who appreciate and remember the great players, and teams, much heart.

Posted by jongtrukh on (February 19, 2014, 3:20 GMT)

Thank you, Martin Crowe, for sharing with us this personal story. McCullum's innings and the Kiwis' performance this summer has given joy to the cricket fans world over. This is why we all love cricket and it is a fitting tribute to your trade. But with your article, you have also shown us a more human side of the story and it makes this proud moment for you and your country more poignant. I have never watched you play but I am really happy that you're still around to write and share your views. I wish you and NZ cricket all the very best!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 2:59 GMT)

Form is temporary , class is permanent . Martin you have proved your class once again though in a completely unexpected role for your fans . May God bless you with a long life and give you courage to defeat the cancer just the way you murdered the best bowling attacks in the world. Respect from a Pakistani .

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 1:59 GMT)

Wow!! One of the best articles that I have ever read on cricinfo.

Posted by Srinino1 on (February 19, 2014, 1:56 GMT)

Martin, this a wonderful article that shows the human side of sporting heroes. Also I can appreciate how you are getting over the demons in your head. I have been recommending your article to friends. You give both a refreshing perspective and also talk about technique when required. Superb article!!

Posted by JSeyder on (February 19, 2014, 1:54 GMT)

I have just experienced nearly two weeks of cricketing joy watching NZ vs IND and Aus vs SA show why a five day test match has longevity and magic. Martin your writing is so beautiful and memorable. It encourages me to deal with the negative toxins of my regrets too. A stirring article - can't wait for your next one!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 1:34 GMT)

As someone who has been struggling with his own personal demons, I choked up reading this article, Martin. Your piece on Trott's stress related injury and now this beautiful, uplifting piece about hope and cricket are among the best articles I've ever read on cricket. Please don't stop writing!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 1:32 GMT)

You have always been my hero and reading your article has reinforced it. Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. When i was 10, my Dad brought a DF Magnum because of you and i am still using it! i am 39. The future looks bright with the young having heroes to look up to in NZ. Thank you for your article.

Posted by andyhnz1977 on (February 19, 2014, 1:07 GMT)

WOW! thank you Martin for sharing this - I still vividly remember your dismissal for 299 - i was 14 years old. I remember your reaction on the way to the changing room and how we all felt for you..to be that close! Love your article - looking forward to your continued input on this site and on the Radio as we go forward next year - and watch them lift the World Cup and squash that other demon

Posted by plow on (February 19, 2014, 0:24 GMT)

Give this man a knighthood!! Someone who has the courage and character to speak about his own personal weaknesses and how it is relevant in the current context. I totally love it Hogan... Absolutely love your work, it's as fluent as your cover drive.

Posted by Rag-Aaron on (February 18, 2014, 23:56 GMT)

I always liked the old Martin Crowe - even when others in social media land would run him down - but I love this new Martin who combines expert knowledge of cricket with the wisdom gained from facing his own demons. I feel that this is writing that transcends cricket but I love that it is about a sport that fascinates me anyway. It's very touching and such a difference to retired cricketers who still bare grudges from their playing days. Salute.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

Martin, as a Pakistani fan I have to admire the fighting spirit of your team and sorry for the years of pain that Inzis innings gave your country following WC semi win in 1992. But your man Anderson has now got his own back by breaking Afridis record for the fastest ODI hundred, a record that our nation was proud of. NZ have developed a really balanced side and its amazing given the limited resources and population of the country and the low ranking compared to the Indian team. It shows that only hard work, determination and modesty guarantees success and not Money, Arrogance or a misleading ranking system.

I think NZ will again be one of the dark horses i next years WC but hopefully you will avoid Pakistan in the semis this time. India need to sack Dhoni and gamble on Kohli in tests. This series is further evidence how IPL will only produce flat track bullies for shorter formats and not good batters or bowlers(spin & seam) for overseas conditions

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 22:17 GMT)

You were the utmost reason for my affection,interest and support towards the Kiwis and You are still the only former cricketer whose dedication and passion for the game as well as for native land touch me deep inside my heart. I am simply speechless and I can feel the tears on my eyes when I touch them after having read this incredible article. The best in the history of Cricketing-writing. Love you & sheer respect for you Sir. Martin Crowe, in fact you have always been one of the highest pride of the game. :)

Posted by 45runs on (February 18, 2014, 22:02 GMT)

Martin, I have green and gold blood running through my veins, and live for Australian cricket like @RohanBhalerao does for Indian cricket. But actually, deep down, we just live for cricket. I can't tell you how thrilled I was for Brendon McCullum to make 300, and how pleased I am with the state of NZ cricket. When I fell in love with cricket in the 80s, your team was so much better than us. Ok, not West Indies class (who was?), but damn good. Yourself, your brother, RJH, Ian Smith, Jeremy Coney, Ewan Chatfield - you were a team to be reckoned with. Cricket needs NZ to be strong, and McCullum, Taylor, Southee, Williamson, and Watling are bringing it back. And by the way, 299 or not, you were one of the best batsmen I ever saw, and will be remembered as such. And your writing is as good. Please keep writing from the heart. Cricket readers love honesty, not bluff and bravado.

Posted by OutCast on (February 18, 2014, 21:55 GMT)

IMO, 1992 WC was the best cricket carnival I have ever witnessed. Not only it was the last "competitive" world cup, but also was the stage for some of the finest and greatest cricketers of all time. I was in SL but rooted for NZ. Martin Crowe made batting look so easy and was a treat to watch when Kiwis took on the field. We were equally dejected as Inzamam took the game away from NZ. Hats off to Crowe and NZ for the great cricket memories!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 21:34 GMT)

Martin, I've been waiting to read this article for 22 long years. Waiting to read how the demons of the 1992 World Cup semi-final regret can now finally be laid to rest. How letting go of the regret at failing to scale your personal Everest in 1991 on 299 can now also be let go. Like every NZ cricket fan of my generation, the 1992 World Cup will always hold a special place in our hearts. We have felt your pain, your agony and your regret for the last 22 years. It was a magical period in NZ cricket history, a period that will always be remembered for the joy and pride you brought to the hearts of all Kiwi fans. So thank you also for helping this fan to let go of that regret you felt on that fateful autumn day on 21 March 1992. It still, for me, remains NZ's finest moment and performance in WC history.

Posted by Jimmyvida on (February 18, 2014, 21:26 GMT)

Black caps can win T20 in Bangladesh. Only thing, ball does not come onto bat as in NZ. Players must recognize that you can drop off to sleep waiting for the short pitched ball, meaning playing well before the ball gets to you.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 21:22 GMT)

Martin.

I am moved by your prose, your honesty and grace. I am a long time fan of your's, Paddle's and Glen Turner's. I hope it alleviates some of your pain to know that 1992 remains a very special time for most cricket fans, certainly amongst my age group.

We are entering a potentially great period in NZ Cricket. A team of undoubted potential is starting to perform. We just need to address the openers conundrum and to put more away wins on the board. IMO what we need most right now is a specialist batting coach.

May I respectfully suggest this should be you. Your own personal development, undoubted technical knowledge but most importantly, your obvious love of the game and the Kiwi protagonists make you the peferct candidate, the missing piece of the developing puzzle.

Food for thought?

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 21:21 GMT)

Wow .. Salute to you Sir! Its so much hard to open yourself to the public, I am just glad that you are finally rid of all the bad memories. Keep writing .. you are turning out to be one of the very best - simple, honest, straight to the point & yet poetic. Marvelous.

Coming to Brendan another WOW .. what an innings, what a series he has had. Oh how the New Zealander's will be wishing that this was a 5 test series not a puny two test one.

New Zealand always punches above its weight - how its entering the heavy weight division -- fair warning to the others in the ring.

Posted by sitaram58 on (February 18, 2014, 21:14 GMT)

Well done Martin, well done Brendon, well done Ross and well done Kiwis. With guys like Martin, Brendon and Ross and many others no wonder your team always excels.

Here's wishing you win the WC next year and Marty hope you and the rest of the beige brigade get to celebrate with the black caps!!!!!!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 19:49 GMT)

Best article I have read in a very long time. Like poetry you brought the pains and demons of your own to life. Please never stop writing, sir

Posted by LeftBrain on (February 18, 2014, 19:35 GMT)

Beautiful...... a fitting article from Martin to a tremendous achievement from Baz. Martin, in my opinion, is at the same level of technique and smooth flow today as he was during his playing days. Then, his bat used to talk beautifully, now his pen is talking in the same beautiful way. No wonder you are considered the best batsman of your time by the ebst bowlers of your time, Wasim and Waqar.

Posted by fayyaz03 on (February 18, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

Where some great cricketers could not become even good coaches, how on the earth can a cricketing giant like you have become such a great writer!

Posted by RohanBhalerao on (February 18, 2014, 18:23 GMT)

Martin Sir, I am an Indian cricket fan. Such a fan who's happiness or sadness depends on how Indian cricket team performs on any day. And I am dejected to say the least by Indian team's performance over the last few days in NZ. But today after reading this article, my dejection is gone. What B-Mac has achieved, if looked at it as a simple cricket fan, is of humongous magnitude. And knowing your personal feelings vis-a-vis this innings of his, I felt tremendous amount of satisfaction for being a cricket lover. Articles like this one of yours makes me stay in love with this game and of ESPNcricinfo.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

Wonderful article. He is such a down to earth person. He is the only batsman who was mentioned by Wasim and Waqar about his technique to play reverse swing when two Ws were at their peak. "RESPECT"

Posted by ru4real on (February 18, 2014, 17:35 GMT)

Martin I believe McCullum should have been given the captaincy before Vettori...we went nowhere during his raine as leader except down...we lost coaches, the team was unsettled and players getting selected when others should have been...not a good time for NZ Cricket and when Taylor took control those same players didn't show the respect a captain should be shown...very weak management. McCullum should have been our leader back then and now passing it onto Taylor.I believe Taylor still has a lot to offer as a captain of NZ...Williamson is still two three years away..we forget that great afternoon when we beat Aussie at home for the first time in a decade or so, then Taylors famous victory offshore again in Sri Lanka...that team resembles todays team...young guys in Bolt, Southee, Bracewell, Guptill,Williamson, Ryder, McCullum...none of the old troubled ones....sadly NZC got it wrong for both Brendon and Taylor and the public of NZ were divided...Shame on NZC for allowing this to happen

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 17:19 GMT)

Beautiful words Mr. Crowe. I always enjoyed your cricket. Your catch running backwards will always remain etched in my mind.

Proud to exist on this Earth in the same era as such a wonderful human being that you are. Pray to the Almighty for all the all the happiness and good health to you, Sir.

Posted by CrickFreak2012 on (February 18, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

Dear Martin,

You were my Hero during your playing days. I still remember waking up early morning (I am from India) just to watch you bat during 1992 world cup! And you have remained my hero because of your writing even today!!! Keep writing such superb articles with no frills, right from the heart.

Posted by DJRNZ on (February 18, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

And can anyone tell me one person out there who writes a better cricketing article than Martin Crowe? Or who in the past consistantly delivers?

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 15:36 GMT)

Just one word for you Martin, "RESPECT"

Posted by manish1977 on (February 18, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

very well written sir, we knew you as great cricketer, we now know you as a greater human being. As @bigFella67 said you were by no means responsible for NZ`s exit in semis. Even though i was very young at that time but this i can say surely that you were amongst top 3 batsmen of your era.

Posted by yogikanna on (February 18, 2014, 15:08 GMT)

Martin, You're a beautiful human being. It's nice to see good people like you around who make cricket still worth watching (despite the money hungry people who could care less about the game). I loved watching you bat, and I love your commentary and articles! Thank you for being you!

Posted by Adnan-Ahmed on (February 18, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

NZ deserves to be a proud nation for defeating India convincingly in both formats on this tour. McCullum's efforts were tremendous and just goes to show the importance of smaller cricket nations when the giants want to eat up all the power.

Posted by cruisy on (February 18, 2014, 14:39 GMT)

Martin you are a legend, an inspiration and a fantastic role model. Keep being who you are. Your honesty and your legacy helps to develop others - like me! I hope to meet you again one day.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 14:08 GMT)

Martic, cricinfo should feel proud for publishing this article. Truly wonderful.

If only the ICC, BCCI, CA, ECB and other dollar hungry cricket boards could love the game as deeply as you do.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (February 18, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

I think NZ and their fans may believe they have removed some of their inconsistencies of recent years.

Posted by haq33 on (February 18, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

Mr Crowe.....every single neutral cricket fan watching the events of the last few days has secretly and jealously whispered to him or herself, if only for a moment "I wish I was a kiwi". It is something about the against-all-odds nature of NZ performances like this that truly sets them apart from the deafening background noise of predictability. Some records in cricket will inevitably fall in a predictable manner and due to global advances, such as higher scoring rates since the advent of t20 or ever increasing bowling speeds, however what mccullum did was something far more special and totally in keeping with kiwi sporting nature - complete and utter refusal to give in.

Posted by DJRNZ on (February 18, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

Martin, watching you bat in the 92 WC was what actually got me interested in playing cricket as a kid. I am now obsessed with the sport! I would love for you to be officially involved in NZC once again. Even if has just an advisor or mentor.

You have been there and done that and learned a lot. You have so much you could pass on to the Black Caps. Not just about technique but also the mental side of the game and all the stresses that come with it.

Posted by BigFella67 on (February 18, 2014, 12:22 GMT)

Martin, as a an Oz cricket fan, there is no way you should ever have felt responsible for "losing" the 92 WC. Firstly, your inspiring tactics wiped Oz out of the tournament. Let go, mate. Secondly, I hope you and John Wright find a way to resolve any outstanding issues as you both have such an important place in the overall narrative of NZ cricket. Thirdly, kudos and utmost respect to both McCulllum and Taylor for lifting NZ cricket to such a great point based on this season's performances. There is a potential renaissance in NZ test cricket ready to happen only rivalled by those great NZ teams of the 80s.

Posted by arunsubbu on (February 18, 2014, 12:09 GMT)

have always admired martin crowe.wasim akram once named him as one of the toughest batsmen he ever bowled to..need we say more..hope u get back soon to the pink of health soon..god bless.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:06 GMT)

Dear Martin,

You are one of the greatest cricketers the world has seen let alone New Zealand. One of the most respected players, not by the virtue of the skills and competence only but due to the commitment to your nation as well. This is quite evident from your article as well how deeply you feel for the country. New Zealand's run in 1992 World cup was extraordinary before they hit the semi final. I have watched every match NZ played and your and Greatbatch's form in particular was exemplary. The ease with which you played Wasim Akram in SF was great to see.

Very happy to see the relief you are getting from this resurgence of NZ cricket. I am sure all the fans would also love to see a competitive, fighting NZ challenge in the coming future.

By the way, as much I admired your batting and innovative skills with captaincy I think you are making one of the finest writers for the sport. I will sure wait for the next one.

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 18, 2014, 11:56 GMT)

Well done Baz! rock on! BTW, with all respect to his mamoth knock, i would not compare this to VVS 281 for only one reason. The difference in bowling attack. While VVS had to play McGrath, Jason, Warne and Kaspo, Baz had to manage a club attack comprizing Shami, Ishant, Zak and Jaddu! Otherwise its a stellar knock.

Posted by Taco_Bosman on (February 18, 2014, 11:50 GMT)

Martin,I was moved by the honesty in which you write. It's telling of your character and your leadership. So let me be honest in saying that I, and a large part of NZ at the time, lived through both of those near misses with you: that world cup in 92' and that 299. From the way you write, you see them as failures… As a Kiwi cricket fan I honestly look back at them as 2 of the most inspiring moments of Kiwi-cricket, despite the near misses. I was even there at the Basin Reserve when you got out on 299. I now live in the Europe so even though it was the middle of the night, I just had to get up to watch McCullum score his 300. It really feels like Kiwi cricket has come full circle. I hear what you're saying about the current team. They're going from strength to strength and it's being driven by many players in the team who are being inspired by their leaders, McCullum and Taylor. Inspiring also to watch. 12 more months until the world cup… Perhaps one last demon can be put to bed!

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience on (February 18, 2014, 11:41 GMT)

Although I am in awe of Brendon's talent and achievement and pleased and excited for NZ still I feel that sad that it was India on the other side of the stick.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

Martin you have written a great article and it,s great that you have come out of the grieves but you should know that you are respected at all the places where cricket is played and specially in Pakistan where people loves cricket infact quality cricket whether you win or loose if you show character and fighting spirit in the game it,s great 1992 wc semi final was also a great example no body thought that pakistan could win the wc but they did and if i am not mistaing Kiwis defeated all the teams but lost only to Pakistan twice once in league match and in semi finals. You werw simply amazing throughout the tournament but unluckily you got unfit during the semi final and in my opinion that cost the match to Kiwis, but in my opinion your team played like true champions and i salute your 1992 wc team for providing such thrilling and exciting games i have the recordings of the whole match and whenever i feels down i watches that recordings and my mood gets fresh thanks alot Crow

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

Dear Martin, It's rare to see such a personal account expressed so well here. To a lot of arm chair critics cricket has become all about stats, theories, and online criticism, without realising the impact professional sports at the highest level can have on the individual. There are fortunately still some genuine sports fans with deep appreciation of the game and its heroes like you and McCullum. Many fans have tremendous respect for you as a player of exquisite class, an innovative captain, and an insightful analyst. We could have never guessed the extent of the 92 WC loss till reading this article. If it helps to hear from a fan of a certain vintage, New Zealand's performance in that WC will always be remembered. And as to the 300, there are many legends who didn't get there, at least you got 299. I don't think Sachin even got that close, for example! So, lets hope we can join you in celebrating McCullum's historic knock, and hoping your demons have been laid to rest for good.

Posted by 12th_man on (February 18, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

'92 was a great match...it's not your fault and never has been. Inzi and Javed were brilliant that day, As for 299, you and Jonesy were gritty, determined and dug us out of a hole, 467, a world record at the time! Forget the one run, think of the 299!! As you know there's only one other man who's scored this in a test, Bradman was his name and he was QUITE a good player :-) As for this summer, Baz's achievements, Ross' tons, the young guys coming through have made this a team to be very proud of! Bring on the WC! P.S I think Baz must have read your article....http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/592518.html

Posted by ishrat1971 on (February 18, 2014, 10:55 GMT)

@Alexk400 I believe Hanif Mohammad also scored his epic 300 in the second innings against the win dies. Was not born then to have witnessed it but to have witnessed this innings has made me proud as a cricket fan. This one is a story for the grandchildren….

Posted by Sagarneel on (February 18, 2014, 10:39 GMT)

What a pleasing article. I hope this NZ team lifts the next world cup as that will be the most fitting tribute to their best ever cricketer. The current crop has all the talent to make that a reality and they truly deserve it.

Posted by A.Ak on (February 18, 2014, 10:39 GMT)

Like Sehwag, Brendon was one of those batsman who was always likely to score a Triple. A double and a Triple back to back is awesome. Well played and well deserved.

Posted by Webba84 on (February 18, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

Really want to see a test series between NZ and Aus right now. Rankings aside, they are the two on song teams in Cricket right now.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

299s just a number, you share the same score with one other batsman DG Bradman 299* 396 - 23 0 Australia v South Africa Adelaide 29 Jan 1932 Test # 215 MD Crowe 299 610 523 29 3 New Zealand v Sri Lanka Wellington 31 Jan 1991 Test # 1162 What really counts is the generation of New Zealand kids who grew up and were in awe of the simple natural way you played. A style I personal notch down as my favourite. In the same way Shane Bond fell short due to injury yet is right up with Hadlee in the way he inspired NZ kids to bowl with pace

Posted by Webba84 on (February 18, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

Never stop writing Martin.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 10:28 GMT)

Firstly, let me put my cards on the table - I have been a mad Aussie cricket supporter since Australia was touring Indian in 69/70 and I was 10 years old ! So my comments are not those of a Kiwi !

Anyway, I have to congratulate our friends across the sea. For a country with the population of Melbourne, NZ has done brilliantly against the Windies and Indians. The quality of your batsmen and pace bowlers has been extraordinary. I think NZ has truly arrived as a cricket power. It is great for world cricket to see how well NZ has played the last 2 months, and I hope they continue to prosper. With the quality of Brendan McCullum and ther other leading players, I feel sure NZ will keep winning.

What a great effort by McCullum these last 2 tests - amazing. Well done. I was rooting for you guys all the way the last 2+ days. Thank you !

Posted by analyseabhishek on (February 18, 2014, 10:27 GMT)

Let us hope that this becomes a defining innings for Kiwi Cricket and helps them to catapult to another level- it will be really good for Cricket!

Posted by Smahuta on (February 18, 2014, 10:20 GMT)

This 300 was not only to save the game but to win the series. A monumental innings of great concentration that most people thought he was not capable of. Good to see NZ playing good test cricket again and some work to be done for india, no doubt.

Posted by knightryder on (February 18, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

Dear Mr Crowe, thank you for sharing your personal experiences with us and your views on this magic summer of cricket. The summer has been amazing for every cricket fan in this country. Brings back memories of great summers past. Mccullums knock was a great way to finish - just sheer refusal to accept losing. Also it did not go unnoticed that he commented that he felt it almost embarrassing to go past crowes score. Great respect shown to the greats who have come before hi him.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (February 18, 2014, 10:13 GMT)

A typically honest and inspiring piece from Martin. The whole article showed how much this legend cares about the long term well being of NZ cricket . And it is up to World Cricket ie The Big Three to seize the moment and help the Kiwis play in meaningful 3 Test series against the major nations in the next FTP (or whatever it will be called)

Posted by siddhartha87 on (February 18, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

Greatest 300 of all time. What an innings!! Lagging by 246 runs and lost half the side before 100 on the board. Brandon you have achieved something really rare.God bless you!!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

No one blames you for 1992 defeat Sir. No one. Infact, had it not been you, we would never have had a chance. Being a sportsman let alone a leader is bad. People will forget your acheivements for one single mistake.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

Martin Crowe !! Sir, You are one of those rare cricket writers today who write their hearts out !! No one can connect as emotionally with their readers as you do.. You have a knack of hitting the nail right on the head.. You never shy from airing ur views on controversies.. And your insight is pure and unadulterated.. It's an absolute pleasure reading your articles, Sir... You were a great batsman.. You are a great writer.. !!

Posted by bobbo2 on (February 18, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

I hardly slept last night in anticipation of the big 300. So great that he got there but more importantly McCullum and Watling saved the day when defeat was almost certain. The series win is important and capped off a great summer of cricket for NZ. Good to see a good crowd in Wellington and even the papers in Australia were carrying the story. With the young talent in the team I think NZ can stay strong and may well be a main feature at the WC. The coach must also be mentioned given the issues of the last year. He has done a great job. Nice article, and glad to hear the NZ team's success is healing all of us.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

The future looks good, Williamson, Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham are all 23. Williamson should be the next captain and he should be inspired by the current captain. With Tim Southee (25) and Trent Boult (24) we've got many good years of test cricket even when the likes of McCullum and Taylor decide to retire. Hopefully this summer has inspired the next crop too and we can start producing quality cricketers on a consistent basis.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

Significant day in NZ cricket no doubt...McCullum's innings exemplifies exactly why Test Cricket is so special...and that this "new dawn" for NZ Cricket is so exciting for cricket fans in NZ, who have supported the team thru thick and thin...the main thing being the FIGHT shown by the whole team, eg wagner first test....and Playing every ball on it's merits test match style....and being patient and detailed for each ball.

Posted by aks1987 on (February 18, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

So nice to read your thoughts Mr. Crowe. I know how it might have felt not to win that final or not to make that 1 run. I personally take college level defeats to heart but never though how bad it might be for someone who played for his country at the top level. I also personally believe that NZ is making huge strides in becoming once again a top level competitve team which is very heartening to see. I hope they win more matches against even better teams in the future. Peace from Pakistan.

Posted by Alexk400 on (February 18, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

Best 300 because of the pressure he was in. Indian bowlers bowled well too. Thats why this is best 300 to save the game. I do not know anyone scored 300 in second inning to save the game. It was great inning of concentration. He learnt to control and play calm inning from williamson. Only thing nz need is two attacking openers and one 150kmph fast bowlers to knock out tail of opposition then this NZ team can be great. They have two fast bowling allrounders in anderson and neesham. I think neesham is better test batsman than corey anderson. Bowling both are ok but they have to improve more or increase speed.

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