One of the fittest cricketers of the modern age, McCullum became the first player to make 100 consecutive Test appearances from his debut. The Kiwi batsman brought a revolution in the New Zealand team with his explosive batting. Towards the end of his career, Bazz impressed the great cricketing minds with his aggresive captaincy.
He announced his retirement in the Christchurch Test against Australia in February 2016 at the age of 34. He recorded the fastest hundred in Test cricket in his final Test, hacking away at a potent Australian attack for 145 runs off just 79 balls, presenting his team and his fans with a signature farewell innings filled with audacity and daring.
Let’s look at some of his heart warming words after his final international match:
Words of praise for the Aussie Players
You guys have proven why you’re the No. 1 team in the world. When you arrived here we felt we were a chance. You blew us off the park in both Test matches and you showed why you’re such a quality team.
I thought both games were played in an incredible spirit and we got on really well. I think you guys are fine ambassadors for your country and you’ve got a great leader in Steve Smith as well.
Good luck in the future, and we’ll have a few beers in years to come.
Love for the Kiwi Cricket
To David White, Stu Heal, Stephen Boock and all at New Zealand Cricket who again have supported this team over the last few years in particular and given them what is an outstanding management group – led by Mike Hesson and Mike Sandle – you’ve given us every opportunity, every bit of support along the way.
I think the game, when you guys leave, will be in better health than when you took over. That’s credit to the support you’ve given to this group of men over that period and me in particular.
We’ve had some fun over the last few years, I reckon. We’ve achieved some pretty cool things and, hey, we’ve lost some games as well but we’ve got our soul back.
You’re absolutely great men and for the rest of my life, I’ll remember the times that we’ve had with New Zealand, not just at home but abroad as well and the experiences we have had as a group.
I know that with the group that’s going to take this team forward, you’ve got some fine leaders amongst you, and some even better men, and I firmly believe this team will go to a new level in the next couple of years.
Thank you for buying into our vision. Thank you for at times being vulnerable and accepting that we had to play the game differently, and above all else thank you for committing to the vision that we had.
Good luck to you all, we’ve got plenty of beers to drink.
Thanking the fans for their support
We’ve been through our ups and downs as a team but I hope that you guys are incredibly proud of the group of men that we have, not just here but have represented the team over the last few years as well.
It means everything to the players to represent their country with pride and passion and to try do it with a smile on their face as well.
We’ve seen over probably the last six to 12 months the way that you guys have really turned up at each ground around the country and supported this team through thick and thin as well. I hope that continues for the next little while, I’m sure it will.
These guys are a great bunch of men and they’ll serve you well over the next couple of years.
And he signs off with the love for his family
To my family, it’s a tough place as a cricketer, playing as many years as you do and spending as much time away from home as you do. You can’t do that without the support and love and dedication of your family.
You guys have allowed me to live my dream over the last 14 years. I said I’d pay you back for the rest of my life, Lis (wife Ellissa), and I do mean that. But look, it’s been amazing coming in as a 20-year-old kid and leaving as a 34-year-old with 3 beautiful kids and an amazing wife.
You step into the next phase with an element of sadness with what you are leaving behind but also a huge amount of excitement at what’s in front us as well. Thank you for everything, I love you lots and I will pay you back for the rest of my life.