Tributes flowed for Crowe today after he lost a second battle with lymphoma. He was 53.

Crowe was born into the game. His father Dave was a stalwart of the Cornwall cricket club in Auckland, while his elder brother Jeff followed him into the New Zealand side.

Fluent at the crease with all the time in the world to play shots, he broke into the Auckland team as an 18-year-old where he scored 51 in his first innings against Canterbury.

Crowe's precocious talent was rewarded 12 months later when he made his Test debut against an Australia side containing the snarling menace of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee.

The experience of being a batting prodigy would leave him with mental scars, however, and he later wrote in the second of his autobiographies 'Raw' in 2013 that being thrust into the limelight as a teenager had not allowed him to mature.

He said he also struggled with doubt and emotional instability in his early years, which left him feeling 'scared and bewildered'. Crowe returned to the national side in 1983 and had a brilliant season for Somerset the following year, scoring 1,870 first class runs.

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