NZ planning WT20 Crowe tribute

Martin Crowe (Getty)
Martin Crowe (Getty)

Mumbai - New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on Tuesday said his side would pay tribute at the World Twenty20 to legendary batsman Martin Crowe who died last week aged just 53.

Crowe, who enjoyed a 13-year international career from 1982-95, including four years as captain, passed away in Auckland after a battle with a rare form of blood cancer called double-hit lymphoma.

"Obviously it was a really sad time, particularly for Martin's family and there's some guys in the side who were very close to him," Williamson told reporters in Mumbai.

"So conversations will be had certainly closer to our first competition match around how we can best do that (pay a tribute).

"At this stage there's still a lot of time before that game but we will be acknowledging it," he added at New Zealand's opening press conference for the sixth edition of the World T20.

New Zealand take on hosts India in Nagpur on March 15 in the first game of the 16-team competition's Super 10 group stage.

New Zealand, ranked fourth in the world in short-form T20 cricket, will be looking to cause an upset against the number one-ranked Indians.

"No doubt India will be possibly the favourites for this tournament but I think all the teams will come here thinking they can win it," said Williamson.

"Twenty20 cricket is pretty fickle and I think all sides are playing good cricket.

"We've got a tough match first up but we'll be preparing as best we can in these conditions and it would be great to get off to a good start and hopefully carry a bit of momentum throughout the tournament," he added.

A strong showing by New Zealand on the subcontinent would be a fitting tribute to Crowe, who during his retirement devised a new ultra-short form of the game called Cricket Max for his new employer Sky Television.

It helped lay the foundations for Twenty20 cricket.

Crowe had a Test average of 45.36 in 77 matches and held a slew of New Zealand batting records when he retired, including most Test runs (5,444), highest Test score (299), most 50s (35) and most hundreds (17).

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