Chris Cairns played 62 Tests and 215 ODIs for New Zealand.© AFP
New Zealand cricket legend Chris Cairns His family said on Friday that he was paralyzed after suffering a stroke during a heart operation and facing “a long road to recovery”. Cairns, 51, one of the world’s top all-rounders in the early 2000s, suffered a heart attack this month after a tear developed in the lining of a major artery. The former Canberra-based international underwent emergency surgery in Sydney but his family said he suffered a stroke during the procedure. “This has left his legs paralyzed,” the family said in a statement.
“As a result, he will begin an important rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia.”
It said Cairns and his family had returned to Canberra to focus on spending time together and “making whatever progress they could in his recovery”.
“Chris and his family appreciate the immense public support to get through this difficult time,” the statement said.
“They also appreciate the way their privacy is respected.”
Cairns played 62 Tests between 1989 and 2004, averaging 29.4 with the ball and 33.53 with the bat, including 87 sixes – a world record at the time.
Although his on-field achievements were overshadowed by allegations of match-fixing, Cairns strongly denied, which resulted in two court cases.
Cairns was acquitted on both occasions, but complained that his reputation had been “scorched”.
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