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There is no doubt the cricketing world is full of star-studded players. This game has produced various cricketers-cum-legends who have shown the world their commitment to this game and have showcased their talent to the entire world, bagging millions of followers around the globe. Talking about the cricketers who have been recognized as one of the greats that this game has ever produced is none other than Brendon McCullum.
Who is Brendon McCullum?
Brendon Barrie McCullum was New Zealand’s finest wicketkeeper and one of the most swashbuckling. Gloved behind the wickets or with the bat in the hands, McCullum was the opponent’s worst nightmare.
Brendon McCullum became part of the Black Caps initially because of his wicket-keeping skills. But he surged to the top of international cricket mainly due to his destructive hitting power. His ability to make quick runs with a healthy strike rate and hitting the ball hard was phenomenal. He has represented his country in all three cricket formats.
Retirement from International Cricket
After representing New Zealand in 101 test matches, 260 ODIs, and 71 T20Is the 34 years old skipper Brendon McCullum announced his retirement from International Cricket in 2016. Just before the team was to play a test series with Australia. The Australian tour of New Zealand was his last assignment as an international cricketer.
Records kept following him as he thrashed the fastest test century in Christchurch Test against Australia as he scored 145 runs off just 79 deliveries. With so many achievements under his name, he decided to call it quits with the same grace with which he dedicated so many years to the game.
The Cairns Trial or the Rusty Performances
But is there something else to the aging Brendon McCullum that led to his sudden decision to retire? It certainly seems so since in August of 2015 he had announced his focus and dedication to win the T20I world cup due in 2016.
After failing to repeat his 2014 test heroics at the 2015 test match series against Sri Lanka, McCullum was disappointed. There was much speculation of Brendon being distracted by the testimonies and interviews he has had to give in light of the Chris Cairns trial.
Cairns was accused of match-fixing in 2008 during the Indian League and also during the New Zealand tour of England. McCullum presented key evidence against his fellow teammate. He stated he was approached by Cairns for fixing matches which he ignored but failed to inform ICC of.
McCullum was quick to brush them off stating he isn’t disturbed one bit. He mentioned how his performance in test matches against Sri Lanka has been looming in his mind. And that is what motivated him to put his bat down for the black caps once and for all.
This is what he had to say in an interview ‘When you get closer to the end of anything, it does start to dominate your mind a little bit. I haven’t mentally checked out at all, I probably just haven’t been in the best form that I could and I’ve played a couple of terrible shots along the way, which has probably plagued my career, to be honest.’
Brendon’s Retirement from all forms of Cricket
With retirement from international cricket, McCullum continued to play T20 leagues around the world. Gt20 Canada, CPL, Big Bash, IPL he played them all. His amazing strike rate and power-hitting made him the automatic choice for franchise cricket around the world.
In 2019, however, Brendon McCullum retired from all forms of cricket at the age of 37 years. The statement of retirement came as he was playing GT20 Canada. At the press conference, McCullum said “I can leave the game knowing I left no stone unturned. I look back with pride over the way I’ve played the game and what I’ve achieved. We broke boundaries and established a style of play that earned us respect around the world.”
Post Retirement Tributes for the Maestro
The announcement of Brendon McCullum’s retirement left many fans and fellow players sad and disappointed. Former teammates and players from different cricketing nations turned to Twitter to express their emotions. He was appreciated for being a true sportsman and always keeping the spirit of cricket alive.
Brendon McCullum’s Latest Activities
Post-retirement McCullum has been part of the commentary panel nowadays. He was part of the commentary team in the 2019 ICC ODI World Cup. He was present at the com box when he saw Kiwi’s dream coming to an end in the super over. Jos Buttler dislodged the stumps making sure Martin Guptill remained short of the crease and naming the trophy for England.
Brendon McCullum has been in a coaching role as well. Currently, he is the Head Coach of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL.
Written by Syed Asad Jawed and Irum Firdaus