Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns, who recently underwent several surgeries after suffering a stroke in his spine, has been left paralysed in the legs.

Aaron Lloyd, Cairns’ lawyer, on Friday said in a statement: “During the life saving emergency heart surgery Chris underwent in Sydney he suffered a stroke in his spine. This has resulted in paralysis in his legs.

“As a result he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia. Chris and his family remain appreciative of the immense public support as they deal with this difficult time. They also appreciate the way in which their privacy has been respected.

“Chris and his family now want to focus on spending time together where possible and making whatever progress they can in his recovery. We will update everyone when there is more news, but that is likely to be some time away.”

Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 ODIs and two T20Is for the Blackcaps between 1989 to 2006. He has 3,320 runs under his belt at an average of 33.5 and also bagged 218 wickets in red-ball cricket. In the 50-over format, the Picton-born scored 4,950 runs at 29.46 and took 201 wickets with best figures of 5/42.

However, his on-field achievements were overshadowed by match-fixing allegations that were denied by Cairns, resulting into two court cases.

Cairns was cleared on both occasions but complained that his reputation had been “scorched” regardless.

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