New Zealand’s leading Test wicket-taker Sir Richard Hadlee has undergone surgery after being diagnosed with bowel cancer following a routine physical check-up.
Widely considered the finest cricketer New Zealand has ever produced, the all-rounder took 431 wickets for the Blackcaps across 86 Tests. Boasting an impressive bowling average of 22.29, he was recognised for his services to cricket and received a knighthood in 1990 shortly after retiring from first-class cricket.
With the surgery going ‘extremely well’ Hadlee will now be treated with rounds of chemotherapy.
A statement released by New Zealand Cricket on behalf of the Hadlee family read: “Last month, Richard had a routine, three-year colonoscopy, and we discovered that he has bowel cancer.
“He has since had an operation to remove the tumour. This operation went extremely well and he has made an excellent recovery from surgery.
“As a safeguard, further treatment in the form of chemotherapy will commence shortly and last for a few months.
“It is expected that, in time, he will have a full recovery.”
Hadlee was the first player to reach the 400 milestone for Test wickets and claimed best match figures of 15-123.
The 66-year-old also made a huge impact in the county game with Nottinghamshire during a nine-year stint, amassing an astonishing 622 wickets and scoring 5,584 first-class runs.
This included one of the most standout seasons seen by any county cricketer in 1987, when Hadlee topped the first-class bowling table and finished third in the batting 1,111 runs at 52.90; 97 wickets at 12.64 – to guide Notts to the County Championship title.