File pic of Chris Cairns.© AFP
New Zealand cricket great Chris Cairns revealed Saturday he has suffered a further health setback and has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Cairns was only discharged from hospital last week, five months after he underwent a life-saving heart operation and was then paralysed by a subsequent stroke. “Another fight ahead but here’s hoping this one is a swift upper cut and over in the first round,” the 51-year-old, one of the world’s top all-rounders in the early 2000s, said on social media.
“I was told yesterday I have bowel cancer… big shock and not what I was expecting.
“So, as I prepare for another round of conversations with surgeons and specialists, I keep remembering how lucky I am to be here in the first place.”
The Canberra-based Cairns required urgent heart surgery last September following an aortic dissection, which is a tear in the inner layer of the body’s main artery.
During the operation he suffered a stroke which left him paralysed in both legs.
Cairns played 62 Tests for New Zealand between 1989 and 2004, averaging 29.4 with the ball and 33.53 with the bat.
He hit 87 sixes, a Test world record at the time, and was the sixth player to achieve the all-rounders’ double of 200 wickets and 3,000 runs.
However, his on-field achievements were overshadowed by match-fixing allegations, strongly denied by Cairns, that resulted in two court cases.
He was cleared on both occasions but complained his reputation had been “scorched” regardless.
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