Nearly 1000 mourners, which included family and friends, attended the funeral service at the Trinity Cathedral in Parnell on Friday (March 11) to pay their last respects to Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, who passed away on March 3, at the age of 53, after a long battle with cancer. The emotional farewell, which was broadcast live and also streamed online, featured tributes from Crowe's wife Lorraine Downes, his brother Jeff Crowe, former New Zealand team-mate Ian Smith and David Lyle Morris, Martin's school friend.
Downes, in an emotional tribute, said she would "forever be grateful to my beautiful man." "It has been said the amount of grief you feel when someone passes is a direct reflection of how much you loved that person. My grief is huge as was my love for Marty. The hurt and grieving we feel for many of us close to him is because Marty was a wonderful man who loved us well - as a soul mate, a father, a son, a brother and a friend.
"He was afraid to publicly voice his thoughts, and this was sometimes misunderstood. He was the most honest man I have ever met. He wasn't afraid to stand up against injustice," Downes said.
Jeff Crowe, who was in Bangladesh last week, officiating as a match referee in the Asia Cup, said he never realised how inspirational Martin was at different parts of the world, until he woke up to see a tribute of his brother on CNN and sub-continent fans paying their respects. "It never really dawned on me how deep it all went, what a huge splash he made, what an inspiration he was for so many. "Marty may have left us but he is still within, you only have to look at Emma's eyes to know that he is looking back at you. A husband of heart and honour. A fabulous loving and caring father. A son of substance. A bold and beautiful brother. A unique uncle and as many of you know, a magnanimous mate," Jeff added.
Smith, who recalled New Zealand's superb run in the 1992 World Cup under Martin's captaincy, said: "No one person could've replicated his leadership and style, he was so unique. Martin's standing and reputation in world cricket has always been the highest. One word sums up Martin Crowe to me - passion." Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor, who are currently in India for the World T20, bid their adieu via recorded messages, saying they would "cherish the memories" of "a good friend and mentor".
Russell Crowe, the actor and Martin's cousin, was one of the six pallbearers. As the New Zealand legend's casket was being driven to Auckland for a private cremation, students from Martin's school - Auckland Grammar - performed the Hogan's Haka in honour of the cricketer.