Former New Zealand cricket star Chris Cairns is reportedly seriously ill in hospital in Australia following a major medical emergency.
The New Zealand Herald and other outlets reported on Tuesday that Cairns was on a life support machine after suffering an aortic dissection – a tear in the body’s main artery – in Canberra last week.
The Herald added that the 51-year-old was set to be transferred to a specialist hospital in Sydney having not responded to treatment as hoped after reportedly undergoing several operations.
Hugely gifted all-rounder Cairns, a great right-arm fast-medium bowler and flamboyant batter, retired from international limited-overs cricket in 2006 after originally quitting Tests two years earlier and has since worked as a TV commentator and pundit.
He scored a total of 10,702 runs at an average of 35.32 in first-class cricket, also taking 647 wickets at 28.31.
As well as playing in 62 Tests, 215 one-day internationals and two T20 matches for the Black Caps, Cairns also had several spells in English county cricket at Nottinghamshire over a 20-year period between 1988-2008.
He was named as one of the five cricketers of the year in 2000 by cricket bible Wisden.
In 2015, Cairns was cleared of perjury and perverting the course of justice at Southwark Crown Court after being accused of falsely declaring under oath that he had “never, ever cheated at cricket” during a successful 2012 libel case against then Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi, whom he sued following allegations of match-fixing made on Twitter.