Richard Hadlee became the first bowler to scalp 400 test wickets in Test Cricket. © Wisden India

Richard Hadlee became the first bowler to scalp 400 test wickets in Test Cricket. © Wisden India

Sir Richard Hadlee, the legendary New Zealand fast bowler, has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. According to a statement released by New Zealand Cricket on behalf of his wife Lady Dianne Hadlee, the presence of cancerous cells in his bowel was found during a routine three-year colonoscopy last month.

“He has since had an operation to remove the tumour,” the statement read. “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, 66, became the first bowler to scalp 400 test wickets in Test cricket, in a career spanning 17 years, having retired in 1990. He has 431 wickets in 86 Tests – a world record at the time of his retirement – at an average of 22.29, and also contributed 3124 runs at 27.16.