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Only six players have hit more sixes in Test cricket than Cairns’ 87

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has been diagnosed with bowel cancer, six months after being left paralysed by a stroke.

Cairns, 51, was only discharged from hospital last week after suffering a stroke during heart surgery in August.

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“Big shock and not what I was expecting after what was supposed to be a routine check-up,” Cairns said on Instagram.external-link

One of the best all-rounders of his era, he played 62 Tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20s.

“As I prepare for another round of conversations with surgeons and specialists, I keep remembering how lucky I am to be here in the first place and how blessed I am to have all that I do in my life,” Cairns said.

“Another fight ahead but here’s hoping this one is a swift upper cut and over in the first round.”

Cairns was briefly on life support and lost the use of his legs following the heart surgery in Sydney, after which he said he was facing “possibly the greatest challenge” of his life.

Cairns played for New Zealand from 1989 and 2006 before becoming a television pundit.