New Zealand news October 18, 2012

Crowe blames cancer on touring ills

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has described his cancer as "very treatable" and blamed the disease on the rigours of a touring lifestyle with New Zealand for two decades. Crowe, who has been diagnosed with grade two follicular lymphoma, said his immune system had weakened after suffering illnesses on certain tours, like when he picked up salmonella poisoning in Sri Lanka in 1984.

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

"In the past, on travels during my cricket career, suffering salmonella and glandular fever has compromised me. 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 took the setback in a positive spirit and thanked his well-wishers for their support. He said the cancer had affected the lymph nodes in his neck, armpits and stomach.

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

One of New Zealand's most celebrated batsmen, Crowe, 50, had played 77 Tests between 1982 and 1995, before he was forced to quit international cricket due to a bad knee. He had briefly attempted to return to competitive cricket last November, saying that he considered it a means of self-motivation and a tool to get fit, but his comeback lasted just three balls, after he pulled a thigh muscle.