New Zealand cricket great Chris Cairns on life support: report

Wellington (AFP) –


Former New Zealand cricket star Chris Cairns was on life support in Australia following a serious cardiac problem, the Newshub website reported Tuesday.

Cairns, one of New Zealand's all-time greats, suffered an aortic dissection -- a tear in the body's main artery -- last week in Canberra and is understood to have had several surgeries since, Newshub said.

However, the former Black Caps skipper "has not responded to treatment as hoped", Newshub said, adding that the 51-year-old "will be transferred to a specialist hospital in Sydney".

AFP has reached out to New Zealand Cricket for comment. The cricket website ESPNcricinfo said an NZC spokesman had declined comment to them, citing respect for Cairns' privacy.

Cairns had a successful 17-year international career as an all-rounder, playing 62 Tests and 215 one-day internationals.

He amassed more than 3,000 Test runs and close to 5,000 in ODIs while crossing the 200-wicket mark in both formats.

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.

But his image was tarred by match-fixing allegations at the end of his career. A legal case against him in Britain ended with an acquittal.