Less than two weeks ago, New Zealand cricketers gifted Chappell-Hadlee Trophy to their captain on his farewell appearance in ODIs at Hamilton on February 8, 2016. The explosive McCullum will retire from all forms of cricket on February 24, 2016, the last day of the ongoing second and final test at Christchurch. With that, the cricket journey of the big-hitting and vastly popular New Zealander will come to an end. The 34-year old Brendon McCullum, who began his test career against South Africa in 2004 has not missed a single test and Wellington marked his 100th test. The Dunedin-born batsman also became the only man in cricket history to have played 100 successive test matches. Unfortunately, he fell for a duck in the first innings and scored just 10 in a match that Australia won by an innings and 52 runs. However in his farewell test at Christchurch, the marauding McCullum came into his own with a 54-ball hundred, something no one has ever done before. McCullum has already retired from T-20 and Kane Williamson is the new captain of New Zealand for the upcoming T-20 World Cup in India.
On February 8, 2016, Brendon McCullum played his last ODI innings and set up New Zealand with a characteristically booming knock of 47 in 27 balls. There were hiccups after New Zealand raced to 123/1 in the 19th over. The later order batsmen were bogged down as they reached 223/5. After that, next 6 New Zealand wickets fell for just 23 runs and they ended with a below-par 246 all out in the 46th over. McCullum’s last shot of his ODI career was an incredibly huge slog off Mitchell Marsh that nearly disappeared in the sky and the ball took time coming down. Glenn Maxwell and John Hastings waited for a while before Hastings held the catch. There was a massive cheer from the Seddon Park crowd and everyone rose to applaud as McCullum began his emotional journey back to the pavilion. Defending 246 against Australia looked difficult for New Zealand but the determined Kiwi bowlers ensured that their captain got a perfect farewell gift in his last ODI. Keeping a tight leash, they stemmed the flow of runs and Australia succumbed to 191 in 44th over to yield a 55-run victory for McCullum and company. Earlier, New Zealand had won the first ODI and Australia squared the series by winning the second. Therefore, the Hamilton victory also resulted in the 2-1 ODI series win for Australia.
When McCullum made his 100th test appearance in Wellington’s first test, he made history as the only cricketer to have played 100 consecutive test matches. The big man couldn’t get going as Australian bowlers ruled the match. McCullum fell for a duck in New Zealand’s first innings score of 183. Australia piled up 562 and bowled out New Zealand for 327 to win by an innings and 52 runs. McCullum contributed just 10 runs in the second innings. Coming into his farewell test on February 20, McCullum came to the crease with New Zealand tottering at 32/3. Then the big man began singing. He thrashed the Aussie bowlers mercilessly and reached the 100-run mark off just 54 balls to become the fastest batsman in test cricket history. McCullum finally fell for 145 off 79 balls with 21 fours and 6 sixes. When he hangs his boots in four days’ time, the swashbuckling New Zealander will have the satisfaction of retiring with a world record.