Holy cow, Crowe returning to commentary

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 30/12/2013
Martin Crowe
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
ON AIR TALENT: Martin Crowe always brings a buzz to the commentary box with insightful remarks and memorable turns of excited phrase - "Holy cow!"

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Martin Crowe is returning to the airwaves after a four-year absence and will join the radio commentary team for next month's India one-day international in Auckland.

New Zealand's record test centurion confirmed he'd accepted an offer to join the Radio Network's call of the third ODI at Eden Park on January 25, and will probably return for the second test in Auckland the following month.

Crowe said he was sounded out by senior commentator Bryan Waddle to join the radio team during his book tour earlier in the year. At that stage he was ''as far away from cricket as possible,'' but in recent months he'd penned several columns for ESPN's Cricinfo website, before accepting another approach from the network.

''It's not a comeback, as it were, more of a day out,'' Crowe said.

''I'm speaking at a luncheon at Eden Park that day so I thought, why not? I'm not looking for a regular gig but I'm happy to do the test as well.''

Crowe stepped back from writing and commenting on cricket as he underwent chemotherapy for lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. In June, a specialist told Crowe he'd recovered, and yesterday he said everything was fine with his health.

Crowe is renowned as one of the best analysts and thinkers on the game. He said the toughest part about returning to the airwaves was having to comment on Ross Taylor, who he'd mentored for much of his career and supported through the captaincy saga a year ago.

''I don't really want to be critiquing him, he's a bloody good mate.''

Crowe was last heard on Sky Television for the Pakistan series in the 2009-10 summer, before in his words being ''moved along'' to a role with the Rugby Channel.

''I struggled with that demotion, but then got on with what I was asked to do.''

He hadn't missed commentary at all, he said, but had rediscovered his love of writing about cricket in recent months.

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