Chris Cairns’s wife, Melanie, has released a statement detailing her husband’s condition as he receives treatment in hospital in Sydney.
- Chris Cairns was taken ill last week and has since had surgery in Canberra and Sydney
- Melanie Cairns has asked for privacy
- Cairns, 51, is one of New Zealand’s greatest all-rounders
It was widely reported that Cairns, 51, suffered a heart attack in Canberra late last week, resulting in an aortic dissection — a rupture of the aorta.
Melanie Cairns said on Wednesday that Chris was given immediate treatment in Canberra but then moved to Sydney for further surgery.
“As has now been widely reported in the media, Chris suffered a major medical event in Canberra late last week,” the statement read.
“He initially underwent surgery in Canberra, but the seriousness of his condition is such that he now has been transferred to St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney, where he has undergone further cardiovascular surgery.
“Chris’s 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.”
She added that no further statements would be made and asked for the family’s privacy to be respected as they “deal with this difficult, upsetting and concerning situation”.
New Zealand Cricket also released a statement from chief executive David White, saying the organisation was “deeply concerned to hear of Chris Cairns’s medical emergency”.
“Our thoughts are with his family in Australia and here in New Zealand.
Cairns, a powerful right-handed batsman and canny medium-fast bowler, is one of New Zealand’s greatest all-rounders, one of the best of his generation in global cricket.
Son of former Black Caps legend Lance, Cairns played 62 Test matches, 215 ODIs and two T20Is between 1989 and his international retirement in 2006. He may have played more but for a shocking injury record.
Cairns, who played for Nottinghamshire, Canterbury and Northern Districts, was named a Wisden cricketer of the year in 2000 after helping New Zealand claim its first international trophy, the ICC Knockout Trophy.
However, his career ended under a cloud, accused of match fixing in the short-lived Indian Cricket League, which resulted in a draining five-year legal fight to clear his name. He eventually did, but not before having his reputation “scorched”.
Brendan McCullum, who testified against Cairns during his match-fixing probe, said on his SENZ breakfast show that their past and relationship was “unimportant”.
“It’s a difficult subject to obviously talk about. We haven’t seen each other for quite a long time,” McCullum said.
“We’ve been reflecting on just how fine a cricketer he was when the news came through, and what he did for the game and New Zealand cricket throughout his career, as well.
“It’s a really difficult time for those people and I know the cricket community and all those who support the Cairns family will be suffering right now. Today, my family and myself are thinking of those people who are suffering.”
Other players from across the world sent their support when news broke.