'Horrid situation': Cricket world in shock over Chris Cairns news

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Chris Cairns, pictured here in action for New Zealand against England in 2002.
Chris Cairns in action for New Zealand against England in 2002. (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)

The cricket world is rallying around Chris Cairns after the New Zealand great collapsed and was placed on life support this week.

The 51-year-old is in an intensive care unit at a Sydney hospital after being moved from Canberra for urgent treatment of a serious health event.

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St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney said Cairns had been admitted on Tuesday.

"He is in a serious but stable condition in intensive care," a spokesperson said.

New Zealand media outlet Newshub reported on Tuesday that Cairns had recently suffered an aortic dissection during a heart incident in Canberra.

An aortic dissection is a tear in the body's main artery.

St Vincent's said the former cricketer had not responded to treatment as hoped.

A New Zealand Cricket spokesman said the board was respecting Cairns' right to privacy and declined to comment on the situation.

Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006 before becoming a television pundit.

He was one of the best all-rounders of his era, especially in the shorter formats. 

He amassed more than 3000 runs in Test cricket and close to 5000 in ODIs, while passing the 200-wicket mark in both formats.

His father Lance also represented New Zealand in cricket.

Chris Cairns and Ricky Ponting, pictured here at the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal match in 2005.
Chris Cairns and Ricky Ponting share a laugh at the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal match in 2005. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Cricket world rocked by devastating Chris Cairns news

Former teammate Chris Harris told Stuff the situation was only made worse by the fact Cairns' family can't fly from New Zealand because of border restrictions.

“It’s the worst news you could possibly get. Absolutely devastated," Harris said.

"Obviously it’s compounded even further when his family can’t be with him because he’s in Sydney. It’s devastating.

“We grew up together and played all our cricket together, so I’ve got fond memories of Chris. It’s absolutely devastating.”

Chris Cairns, pictured here with teammates Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum during an ODI in 2006.
Chris Cairns with teammates Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum during an ODI in 2006. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Fellow former teammate Brendon McCullum also addressed the sire situation on his SENZ Breakfast show.

“It’s a difficult subject to obviously talk about. We haven’t seen each other for quite a long time," he said.

“We’ve been reflecting on just how fine a cricketer he was when the news came through and what he did for the game and New Zealand cricket throughout his career as well.

“Our relationship is unimportant in the whole thing, the fact is that Chris is a father and also a son to Lance and Sue. 

"They’ve already had such tragedy in their life with the loss of Chris’ sister a long time ago as well.

“It’s a really difficult time for those people and I know the cricket community and all those who support the Cairns family will be suffering right now. 

"Today my family and myself are thinking of those people who are suffering.”

Cairns was named one of Wisden's cricketers of the year in 2000, and awarded the New Zealand order of merit when he retired from Tests in 2004.

He has lived in Canberra for several years after his marriage to Australian Melanie Croser in 2010.

After retiring from international cricket, he was the subject of allegations of match fixing in India as captain of the 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.

with agencies

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