The likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli or AB de Villiers are some of the well-known batsmen who literally set the stage on fire with their enthralling and out-of-the-world strokeplay. It would not be an overstatement if we say these batsmen are easily the hottest and most sellable properties in the cash-rich Indian Premier League. But, there is one name who actually started the trend from the word ‘go’ in one of the world’s most followed T20 league (IPL) – it is none other than Brendon McCullum. The sturdy Kiwi is always remembered for getting IPL off to a fantastic start with a blazing knock of unbeaten 158 for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore. But as al good things comes to an end, McCullum’s special bond with IPL and Indian fans have also reached its tipping point.
Over the years, McCullum remained one of the biggest attractions in the sub-continent region and especially enjoys a huge following in the slam-bang league. After going unsold in this year’s recently-concluded IPL auction in Jaipur, speculations started doing the round that it’s the end of road for the New Zealander. But rubbishing all the reports, the 37-year old hit back with a quirky post on his official Instagram handle.
McCullum wrote, “Easy there tiger. Bit of kick in the old boy yet!” He even highlighted a piece of report which read – ‘at the age of 37, his fast hands and eyes clearly not what they once were’. Several fans and followers voiced their support for McCullum and believed it’s the loss of IPL to not have the services of the explosive batsman.
The former Kiwi captain was among 11 New Zealand cricketers who failed to find a buyer in the auction. Only two players from New Zealand – Lockie Ferguson and Martin Guptill – managed to get the lucrative deals.
Earlier, while speaking to Radio Sport, McCullum hinted that he might retire from the game in the near future. “That’s the way things go sometimes. I’ve been very lucky, I’ve had 11 seasons in the IPL and at some stage you need to transition away from the playing stuff,” said McCullum.
“All good things must come to an end, and I was very delighted to see some of the Kiwi boys got picked up. I’m certainly not too worried about it; it’s the way the game goes sometimes. I certainly wish the other boys all the best and you never know, you just never know what might unfold in the future,” said McCullum.
The 37-year-old, who played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, scored 2,881 runs in 109 IPL matches at an average of 27.70.