The news of Martin Crowe's demise after losing a long battle with cancer was mourned by the cricket community the world over on Thursday. From former cricketers, friends, journalists to people who have interacted with him, everyone paid rich tributes to the New Zealand legend.
But perhaps the most touching tribute came from Martin's elder brother Jeff. The former New Zealand captain decided to continue his duties as the ICC match referee merely hours after the death of his brother. He officiated in the Asia Cup match between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Bangladesh on Thursday before leaving for home.
As a mark of respect, India and UAE players wore black armbands and observed a minute's silence before the start of their match. A lot of Indian players were seen offering condolences to Jeff and personally went to have a chat with him. Jeff was also present on the field alongside the teams during the tribute. He not only maintained his composure but also acknowledged the gesture.
Martin was diagnosed with terminal double-hit lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer, in September 2014 and lost his long battle with the disease on Thursday at the age of 53. He enjoyed a 13-year international career from 1982-95, including four years as captain.
Jeff Crowe's courageous gesture received universal appreciation from the cricket community with people on Twitter praising him for his professionalism.
That image of Jeff Crowe saluting the photograph of his younger brother on the big screen was sad and haunting. Will stay with me for long.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 3, 2016
Incredible by Jeff Crowe. The match referee for today's match despite losing his brother back home. pic.twitter.com/yLnDponl8s
— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) March 3, 2016
— CricFit (@CricFit) March 3, 2016
— FOX SPORTS Cricket (@FOXCricketLive) March 4, 2016
Jeff Crowe is the match referee for today. Imagine the emotions he must be going through. Lost his brother but still at work!#IndvsUAE
— Rashi Kakkar (@rashi_kakkar) March 3, 2016
I don't know how Jeff Crowe walked out to the middle. Strong man for sure.
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) March 3, 2016
Minute silence for Martin Crowe before UAE v India in Asia Cup. His brother Jeff is the match referee pic.twitter.com/ey7otDLbtU
— Paul Radley (@PaulRadley) March 3, 2016
Jeff Crowe is match referee for #INDvsUAE . Oh Man! It's less than 12 hours of his younger brother's death. Hmm ! The Show must go on.
— Nyctophiliac (@writer__warrior) March 3, 2016