The family of New Zealand cricket legend Chris Keynes said on Friday that he was paralyzed after a stroke in heart surgery and faced a “long road to recovery”.
Keynes, 51, was one of the world’s top all-rounders in the early 2000s. This month, he suffered from a life-threatening heart disease due to a tear in the inner wall of his main artery.
The former international based in Canberra underwent emergency surgery in Sydney, but his family said he suffered a stroke during the operation.
“This caused his leg to become paralyzed,” the family said in a statement.
“Therefore, he will undergo important rehabilitation treatment at a spine specialist hospital in Australia.”
It said Keynes and his family have returned to Canberra to focus on spending time together and “make whatever progress they can in his recovery.”
The statement said: “Chris and his family are still grateful for the huge public support as they deal with this difficult time.”
“They also appreciate the way they respect their privacy,” it added.
Keynes participated in 62 tests between 1989 and 2004, with an average possession score of 29.4 and a batting score of 33.53, including 87 six-pointers-which was a world record at the time.
However, his achievements on the court were overshadowed by Keynes’s strongly denied allegations of match-fixing, which led to two court cases.
Keynes was purged both times, but complained that his reputation was “scorched” anyway.