The thirteenth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is about to commence after a week and few days but the fans of respective franchises have gone frenzy to witness their superstars in action in the conditions of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Nobody would have anticipated that the fandom surrounding IPL and the players would cross continents and a major amount of credit goes to the opening encounter of the inaugural edition that took place between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
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Brendon McCullum, who was then a member of KKR and rendered 158* off 73 deliveries against RCB, a knock that comprised 10 fours and 13 sixes, played a crucial role in setting a memorable start to the cash-rich T20 tournament. His inning pushed KKR post in excess of 220, a contest they won comfortably by a margin of 140 runs.
It remains one of the most iconic performances by a cricketer in IPL history which solidified McCullum’s career in the shortest format.
The Dunedin-born is now the Head Coach of the two-time IPL champions and recalled the advice that his then skipper, Sourav Ganguly, gave to him post the nerve-wracking contest.
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I remember what Sourav Ganguly said to me: Brendon McCullum
“I was just a young kid back then, so I was so in awe of Shah Rukh Khan, who was such a megastar. I was so out of my depth, even just around the superstars in my cricket team, let alone the megastar who owned our cricket team. I don’t remember many reactions in detail, but what I do remember is what Sourav Ganguly said to me that night.
“Dada said, ‘Your life is changed forever’ and I didn’t quite know what he meant at the time, but, I hundred percent agreed with him,” recalled McCullum to KKR’s website.
The former New Zealand skipper even revealed that Shah Rukh Khan wanted him to be always associated with Kolkata Knight Riders.
“I was always very grateful, and thankful for the opportunity that the franchise had provided for me. So when an opportunity arose again (as the head coach), I thought ‘Well, Shah Rukh did say to me ‘You will always be involved with KKR’ and this, I guess, is another opportunity,” said the former Kiwi cricketer.
In 370 T20s, Baz aggregated 9922 runs at an average and strike rate of 29.97 and 136.49, with 7 hundred and 55 fifties, and 158* vs RCB as his personal best.
It would be interesting to see how KKR performs under his coaching in the upcoming edition of IPL.