(Reuters) – Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns said on Saturday that he has been diagnosed with bowel cancer, five months after suffering a spinal stroke following emergency heart surgery.
The 51-year-old had undergone life-saving treatment for a torn artery and suffered a spinal stroke in late August that left him paralysed from the waist down.
Cairns was discharged last week after 141 days of inpatient treatment at the University of Canberra Hospital and was told about his latest health setback on Friday following a routine check.
“I was told yesterday I have bowel cancer… big shock and not what I was expecting after what was supposed to be a routine checkup,” Cairns wrote on Instagram.
“So, as I prepare for another round of conversations with surgeons and specialists, I keep remembering how lucky I am to be here in the first place… and how blessed I am to have all that I do in my life.
“… Another fight ahead but here’s hoping this one is a swift upper cut and over in the first round.”
Cairns played 62 tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for New Zealand between 1989-2006. His father Lance also played cricket for New Zealand.
He has lived in Canberra with his wife and children for several years.
After retiring from international cricket he was the subject of allegations of matchfixing in India as captain of Chandigarh Lions in the defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008.
He denied any wrongdoing and fought several legal battles to clear his name, winning a libel case against former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi in 2012.
In 2015, he was cleared of perjury in relation to the libel case after being charged by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)