Somerset supporters will be sorry to hear that former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe, who played for the County between 1984 and 1988 has passed away at the age of 53. He had been suffering from lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
Martin joined Somerset as a 21 year old to fill the gap left by Viv Richards’ Test match commitments that prevented the West Indian from appearing for Somerset in 1984. The young Kiwi proved to be a more than capable replacement as he scored over 1500 runs at an average of 53.45. The highlight of his maiden season at Taunton was a third wicket stand of 319 with Peter Roebuck against Leicestershire at the County Ground which saw Somerset snatch victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat. This partnership is still a Club record for the third wicket.
Martin then left the Club when Richards and Joel Garner returned but following their departure he was back in Taunton for the 1987 season. That year he played in 18 First Class matches and again scored over 1500 runs at an average of 67.79. He achieved his highest Somerset score in that year when he made 206* against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
He once again returned in 1988 but injuries limited him to just five appearances although he still amassed 487 runs at an average of over 60.
SCCC Secretary Tony Brown welcomes Martin Crowe to the County Ground
In total he played in 48 matches for Somerset in which he scored 3984 runs at an average of 59.46, including 14 centuries, as well as taking 44 wickets at 33.02.
Martin went on to play in 77 Tests for New Zealand, including 16 as captain, and 143 One-Day Internationals between 1982 and 1995.
He was named as one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1985, and his highest score of 299 was achieved against Sri Lanka in 1991. He scored a total of 5,444 Test runs and almost 20,000 in First Class cricket.
The thoughts of everyone at Somerset CCC are with Martin’s family at this difficult time.
The flag at the Cooper Associates County Ground is flying at half mast today.