Martin Crowe can “happily live with” New Zealand’s World Cup final against Australia being potentially the last match he ever watches.
Former Black Caps captain Crowe, 52, is suffering from lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
He made an initial recovery after being diagnosed with the disease in 2012 but wrote on Twitter last September: “After a brilliant year of self discovery and recovery I have more work to do. My friend & tough taskmaster Lymphoma is back to teach me.”
He has since undergone chemotherapy but even as his health fails, he cannot contain his excitement about the prospect awaiting his country and its near neighbour.
Crowe wrote on ESPN Cricinfo: “On Sunday, in front of a packed house at the one and only Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia and New Zealand go to war once again. This time not as brothers in arms but as fierce rivals, a rivalry all the more meaningful for our long history together.
“We are brothers and will always be. On Sunday one sibling will upset the other. As one of those proud brothers, I am stunned by the prospect.
“Without question, this will be the personal cricketing highlight of my life, and I sense for New Zealand too.
“My precarious life ahead may not afford me the luxury of many more games to watch and enjoy. So this is likely to be it. The last, maybe, and I can happily live with that.”
Meanwhile, Australia captain Michael Clarke will retire from one-day internationals following the final.
The 33-year-old has been suffering with a back problem for some time and a hamstring injury ruled him out of Australia’s World Cup build up with George Bailey and Steve Smith, the two men most likely to succeed him, both leading the side.
And Clarke revealed during a press conference previewing the match against the Black Caps that he wanted to give his successor a full four years to prepare for 2019, just like he had when replacing Ricky Ponting in 2011.
“I think it is the right time for me and the Australian cricket team,” he said.
“I was very fortunate four years ago to get the opportunity to captain this one-day team. That was really good preparation for me leading up to this World Cup and I think the next Australian captain deserves the same opportunity.