New Zealand legend Sir Richard Hadlee has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. A New Zealand Cricket statement confirmed the news on behalf his wife Lady Dianne Hadlee.
Hadlee had undergone a successful surgery to remove a tumour. He will be having chemotherapy soon.
“Last month, Richard had a routine, three-year colonoscopy, and we discovered that he has bowel cancer,” Dianne said in a statement. “He has since had an operation to remove the tumour. This operation went extremely well, and he has made an excellent recovery from surgery.
“As a safeguard, further treatment in the form of chemotherapy will commence shortly and last for a few months. It is expected that, in time, he will have a full recovery.
“Our reasons for making this statement are a desire to be transparent, and to prevent the inevitable speculation and incorrect rumours.
“I would also request people’s understanding and acceptance of our request for privacy while we go through the next few months, both for ourselves and for the extended Hadlee family.”
Hadlee is regarded one of the greatest fast-bowling allrounders in the history. In 86 Test matches for the Blackcaps, he bagged a record 431 wickets at 22.29 when he retired. Not only that, he also managed 3124 runs at 27.16 including two centuries with the bat.
He took 158 wickets at 21.56 and scored 1751 runs at 21.61 in 115 One-Day Internationals.
Hadlee was the key to New Zealand’s rise as a cricketing powerhouse. He was the star of New Zealand’s first ever wins over Australia and England. He took 173 wickets at 13.06 in Test matches he won.
Hadlee was appointed MBE in 1980. Ten years later he was awarded Knighthood during his last tour of England. He was the first cricketer to receive the Kighthood during his playing career.