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The family of New Zealand cricket great Chris Cairns revealed he has been left paralysed after suffering a stroke during his life saving surgery.
Cairns, 51, one of the world's top all-rounders in the early 2000s, suffered a life-threatening heart condition this month when a tear developed in the lining of a major artery.
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But, two weeks after the incident, his family revealed the Canberra-based star is facing a 'long recovery' after he suffered a stroke during the procedure.
"This has resulted in paralysis in his legs," the family said in a statement.
"As a result, he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia."
Cairns is believed to be undergoing rehabilitation in Sydney and his family have called for privacy during these extremely difficult times.
"Chris and his family remain appreciative of the immense public support as they deal with this difficult time," the statement said.
"They also appreciate the way in which their privacy has been respected."
Chris Cairns' cricket career
Cairns played 62 Tests between 1989 and 2004, averaging 29.4 with the ball and 33.53 with the bat, including 87 sixes — a world record at the time.
However, his on-field achievements were overshadowed by match-fixing allegations, strongly denied by Cairns, that resulted in two court cases.
Cairns was cleared on both occasions but complained his reputation had been "scorched" regardless.