To the relief of the cricketing world, Chris Cairns is off life support after heart surgery

Chris Cairns

Ollie Phillips

Chris Cairns, the former New Zealand all-rounder who suffered a 'major medical event' earlier this month, is mercifully off life support and in a stable condition in hospital after he was put through emergency heart surgery in Sydney. The press was told by his lawyer that Cairns had been able to communicate with his family from hospital.

It was reported that Cairns had suffered an aortic dissection a few weeks ago, which is a tear in the body's main artery, requiring immediate surgery in Canberra from which he was transferred for another operation due to the gravity of the situation.

The cricketing world had responded with shocked messages of support for Cairns and his family, the incident taking everyone by some surprise given the 51-year-old's previously consistent health.

Cairns averaged 33.5 with the bat and 29.4 with the ball in his stellar 62-match Test career for the Black Caps, and also appeared 215 times for his country in ODIs, hitting 4950 runs and taking 201 wickets over his 50-over career.