As confirmed by his wife Dianne, Sir Richard Hadlee will undergo yet another round of surgery — after cancer spread to his liver. Hadlee, now 67, was under the knife after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer last month. The doctors had assured that a course of chemotherapy will help him recover fully. Unfortunately, the malady had spread further than they had diagnosed.
Dianne’s statement read: “This week, Richard will undergo further surgery after secondary cancer was discovered in his liver. Medical advice is that it’s still at a very early stage and is operable. Once he has recovered from the operation, Richard will undergo further chemotherapy treatment. As with the first statement released on this matter, we disclose these details solely in the interests of transparency, and to avoid speculation and gossip. We would again ask that people respect our request for privacy.”
Unarguably the greatest cricketer in the history of New Zealand, Hadlee played 86 Tests for his 431 wickets at an astonishing 22.29. The tally was a world record when he retired. He also scored 3,124 runs at 27.16, and had an outstanding ODI record (158 wickets at 21.56, 1,751 runs at 21.61).
Hadlee is also one of two cricketers to have done the 1,000 run-100 wicket double in a single English season, for Nottinghamshire (Franklyn Stephenson is the other). He was also the chief architect of New Zealand’s historic series win in Australia in 1985-86.