August 11: Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is in an intensive care unit at a Sydney hospital after undergoing cardiovascular surgery following a major heart incident in Canberra last week.

St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney said Cairns, who was admitted on Tuesday, was in “a serious but stable condition” in intensive care.

His wife Melanie Cairns said the cricketer had surgery in Canberra after a “major medical event” late last week but the seriousness of his condition required him to be transferred to St Vincent’s for another operation.

Chris’ family and friends are heartened by the respectful and warm manner in which this terrible news has been reported, and received by the public, both in New Zealand and around the world, and thanks to everyone for their warm wishes, prayers, and kind words,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

Cairns had recently suffered an aortic dissection during a heart incident in Canberra. An aortic dissection is a tear in the body’s main artery.


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Regarded as one of the best all-rounders of his era, Cairns played 62 tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for New Zealand between 1989-2006. 

Chris’ father Lance Cairns also played for New Zealand. 

It’s absolutely devastating. It’s the worst news you could possibly get,” former New Zealand teammate Chris Harris told local media.