McCullum inspired by Crowe

Crowe, 52, is terminally ill with lymphoma and he penned a moving tribute to McCullum’s men on Cricinfo in the run-up to the Melbourne Cricket Ground showpiece.

He was inducted to the International Cricket Hall of Fame last month and, despite his illness, will make the trip to watch the final in person, to cheer on players he terms as the ‘sons I never had.’

“My precarious life ahead may not afford me the luxury of many more games to watch and enjoy,” Crowe said.

“So this is likely to be it. The last, maybe, and I can happily live with that.

“I will hold back tears all day long. I will gasp for air on occasions. I will feel like a nervous parent.

“Whatever happens, March 29 at the MCG will be the most divine fun ever.”

And McCullum is sure Crowe’s effort in making it to Melbourne will act as further inspiration as they look to win the tournament for the first time against their rivals from across the Tasman.

“I think what he’s going through at the moment is incredibly difficult. We had him involved in the group, and not long ago as well he came and spent time with the team and it was great,” McCullum said.

“He seems to have really found peace with himself and the game as well, and he’s been instrumental in helping some of our guys on the team peel back their games and really focus on being able to develop individually but also buy into the team collectively. He’s been a really big asset.

“It’s really sad what he’s going through and we just hope that he’s able to find some peace in the time that he’s got left.”