Wife responds to ‘upsetting’ Chris Cairns health battle

The wife of Chris Cairns has responded to the former New Zealand cricketer’s “concerning” health battle after he was moved to an intensive care unit at a Sydney hospital.

The cricket world has been rallying around Cairns after the New Zealand great collapsed and was placed on life support this week.

Reports emerged that the 51-year-old was in an intensive care unit at a Sydney hospital after being moved from Canberra for urgent treatment of a serious health event.

St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney said Cairns had been admitted on Tuesday.

“He is in a serious but stable condition in intensive care,” a spokesperson said at the time.

New Zealand media outlet Newshub reported on Tuesday that Cairns had recently suffered an aortic dissection during a heart incident in Canberra.

An aortic dissection is a tear in the body’s main artery.

St Vincent’s said the former cricketer had not responded to treatment as hoped.

Cairns’ wife Melanie says she has been overwhelmed by the messages of support pouring in for the cricket great but asked that the family’s privacy be respected as they dealt with the “upsetting and concerning situation”.

“As has now been widely reported in the media, Chris suffered a major medical event in Canberra late last week,” she said in a statement.

“He initially underwent surgery in Canberra, but the seriousness of his condition is such that he has now been transferred to St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney, where he has undergone further cardiovascular surgery.

“Chris’ family and friends are heartened by the respectful and warm manner in which this terrible news has been reported, and received by the public, both in New Zealand and around the world, and thanks everyone for their warm wishes, prayers, and kind words.

For now, no further statements will be made regarding Chris’ situation, and the Cairns family asks that people continue to respect their privacy as they deal with this difficult, upsetting and concerning situation.”

A New Zealand Cricket spokesman said the board was respecting Cairns’ right to privacy and declined to comment on the situation.

Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006 before becoming a television pundit.

He was one of the best all-rounders of his era, especially in the shorter formats.

He amassed more than 3000 runs in Test cricket and close to 5000 in ODIs, while passing the 200-wicket mark in both formats.

Cairns was named one of Wisden’s cricketers of the year in 2000, and awarded the New Zealand order of merit when he retired from Tests in 2004.

He has lived in Canberra for several years after his marriage to Australian Melanie Croser in 2010.

After retiring from international cricket, he was the subject of allegations of match fixing in India as captain of the Chandigarh Lions in the defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008.

He denied any wrongdoing and fought several legal battles to clear his name, winning a libel case against former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi in 2012.

In 2015 he was cleared of perjury in relation to the libel case after being charged by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service.

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