Touching tributes flow at Martin Crowe’s funeral

New Zealand cricket great Martin Crowe passed away last week leaving New Zealand and the cricket world grieving. Crowe’s funeral was held at Auckland on March 11 and it was an emotional event attended by several luminaries and Crowe’s cousin, Hollywood star Russell Crowe was there as the pallbearer. Watch: In photos and videos: Martin Crowe’s funeral

According to a report from AFP, around 1,000 mourners attended Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral to remember the New Zealand legend who passed away after a brief battle with cancer. Also Read: To my childhood hero, Martin Crowe…

Crowe’s elder brother Jeff, a former New Zealand captain, who was in Bangladesh at the time of his brother’s death, was quoted saying, “It had never really dawned on me… what a huge splash he made, what a true inspiration he was. Wasim Akram reminded me just the other day that Martin was the greatest batsman he ever bowled to — no higher praise than that.” READ: Despite Martin Crowe’s death, brother Jeff officiates in Asia Cup 2016

His wife Lorraine Downes paid an emotional tribute to Crowe, whom she called ‘my beautiful man’. His former teammates and on-field foes shared memories of the Kiwi cricketer, who scored the most number of centuries (17) for his nation.

Ian Smith, known for his witty commentary, shared lighter moments of the cricketer and in presence of the Hollywood superstar Russell, said, “(Martin) was in ‘Gladiator’ as an extra, he was a senator — well he was never going to be a footsoldier was he?”  He referred to Russell’s blockbuster Gladiator for which actor won an Academy Award. READ: Russell Crowe, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and other luminaries pay tribute to Martin Crowe

Russell helped carry the casket bearing a giant inlaid silver fern to a hearse as students from Crowe’s Auckland Grammar School performed a haka.