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McCullum: It took me a couple of years to get over my debut IPL innings

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McCullum: It took me a couple of years to get over my debut IPL innings

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SportsCafe Desk

04/19/2017

Brendon McCullum’s majestic 158-run innings in the very first IPL match has been a part of IPL folklore and he has admitted that he took more than two years to get over that magnificent innings. The Gujarat Lions' star also heaped praise on India for giving him so much of love in last 10 years.

Playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, Brendon McCullum piled a brutal one-man assault on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural match of the IPL, scoring an unbeaten 158 from a mere 73 deliveries. The world suddenly started falling in love with the IPL, a tournament that also started challenging our conventional wisdom of the sport. McCullum feels that he couldn’t get over that innings for a couple of years. 

Talking to Sportsstarlive, the former Kiwi skipper said, “Ten years ago, I was 25 years of age. Very much trying to cut my teeth in the international circuit. Even though I had been around for five years, I never really had a splash as such. I promised a little bit but never actually delivered anything. I guess that was the first breakout innings where people actually sort of stood up and took notice. Ever since then, it has been amazing. It’s been phenomenal. My profile in India has been really strong."

He further added, “To be honest, it took me a couple of years to get over that. Just the level of expectation, just to turn up and perform like that every time. That was once or twice of a kind of innings in lifetime, especially when you consider the timing of it as well. It has been phenomenal. I love coming to India. It is completely different to New Zealand. The passion with which people follow the game and how they love you. You would love to attend to every single one — people want autographs, photos — that’s not possible as well. But I have got my family here for 10 years as well. They have had a pretty good time as well.”

Notwithstanding its ethically problematic practices, the IPL has struck a familiarity with the modern generation and is served as a benchmark for the globalization of the sport. 

On being asked about IPL’s journey as a tournament, McCullum said, “It’s been incredible. The first year or two was very much a really glitzy, glamorous crossover of Bollywood and cricket. And then, it’s become a very, very serious business now. It would be interesting to see what happens from here on. End of the 10 years, what happens next year in terms of retaining the players, the teams coming back and where the competition goes. If you look back, it’s been a phenomenal tournament and what it’s done is it’s opened the eyes of every other country around the world, which is why you see a lot of these leagues around the world.”

Speaking about his IPL sojourn, he praised the KKR and CSK units but described his one-year stay at Kochi Tuskers a frustrating one. 

“Kolkata and Chennai were great experiences. I had five years at Kolkata, they gave me my first opportunity. They were fantastic. Excellent owners. A real glitzy, glamorous owner as well. I still have a lot of friends over there. I am still involved with them through TKR (Trinbago Knight Riders), which is great. That’s a great relationship which is now decade-long.

“Chennai was [an] incredible couple of years. The way they cared for every single person, not just the playing squad but the support staff — whether (it was) the bag man or M. S. Dhoni it didn’t matter. They are all part of the CSK family. And we were obviously a very good cricket team as well.

“Kochi Tuskers — was frustrating. We were in and out for just a year. We had the makings of a good cricket team but it just never worked," he concluded. 

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