Sir Richard Hadlee diagnosed with bowel cancer

Sir Richard Hadlee - expected to make full recovery
Sir Richard Hadlee - expected to make full recovery

New Zealand great Sir Richard Hadlee has been diagnosed with bowel cancer but is expected to make a full recovery.

Hadlee, whose 431 Test wickets are the most by a Kiwi and place him eighth on the all-time list, has undergone surgery to remove a tumour and will have chemotherapy over the course of the next few months.

A statement released by New Zealand Cricket on behalf of the 66-year-old's wife, Lady Dianne Hadlee, read: "Last month, Richard had a routine, three-year colonoscopy, and we discovered that he has bowel cancer.

"He has since had an operation to remove the tumour. This operation went extremely well and he has made an excellent recovery from surgery.

"As a safeguard, further treatment in the form of chemotherapy will commence shortly and last for a few months. It is expected that, in time, he will have a full recovery.

"Our reasons for making this statement are a desire to be transparent, and to prevent the inevitable speculation and incorrect rumours."

Hadlee is widely regarded as one of the finest bowling all-rounders to have graced the game, also amassing 3,124 runs, with two centuries and 15 fifties, in his 86 Tests from 1973 to 1990.

At the time of his retirement, he held the world record for most Test wickets and was the first to reach the 400 milestone.

A former fast bowler who later modified his action to rely on swing, Hadlee was a pivotal presence in Nottinghamshire's County Championship triumphs in 1981 and 1987.

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