The 50-year-old had recently attempted a comeback to first class cricket in Auckland, but tore a thigh muscle in the third ball of his first innings for Cornwall in the nation’s top domestic grade.

His manager Louise Henderson said: “Understandably the family have a number of issues to confront over the next couple of weeks, the diagnosis is very new, the family is still in shock and obviously dealing with the understanding that life as they know it for the unforeseeable future is different.’

Crowe debuted at age 19 and played 77 Tests for New Zealand from 1982 to 1995, scoring 5444 runs at an average of 45.36.

He also played 143 on his way to becoming one of the country’s best ever batsmen.

Lymphoma is the most common of all blood cancers and attacks the lymphatic system, which is part of our body’s immune system (

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