In a positive development that will warm the hearts of cricket fans, New Zealand great Chris Cairns has been taken off life support after successfully undergoing heart surgery.
The 51-year-old is recovering in hospital after he suffered a “major medical event” involving an aortic dissection – a tear in the body’s main artery.
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Cairns had surgery in Canberra but the seriousness of his condition required him to be transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney for another operation.
“I’m pleased to advise that Chris is off life support and has been able to communicate with his family from hospital in Sydney,” Cairns’ lawyer Aaron Lloyd said in a statement on Friday.
“He and his family are thankful for all of the support and well wishes from everyone, and for the privacy they have been afforded. They request that this continues as they focus on his recovery moving forward.”
Cairns, the son of Black Cap legend Lance Cairns, was a right-hand batsman and fast-medium bowler.
He was known as one of the finest all-rounders of his generation.
Cairns played 62 test matches, 215 one day internationals and two T20s for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006. He went on to become a commentator with Sky Sport in New Zealand. Cairns has been living and working in Canberra with his wife Mel and their children for several years.
He has been the chief executive of SmartSportz, a company specialising in virtual sport.
Cairns had to rebuild his life after walking out of Southwark Crown Court in London in 2015 after being found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice charges in relation to match-fixing allegations, which took a huge toll on the cricketer’s life.
Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum — who testified against his former teammate in the 2015 perjury trial — was among the many to send messages of support to Cairns and his family.