Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum says his sizzling 73-ball 158, which set the ball rolling for IPL in its very first game 12 years ago, changed his life forever.
On this day in 2008, McCullum got the inaugural IPL off to a scintillating start for Kolkata Knight Riders against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“That night, my life changed completely in the space of those three hours or actually, even an hour and a half. You talk about sliding doors, and moments in your careers and in lives,” McCullum told kkr.in.
McCullum has now reunited with the Knight Riders as their coach.
Recalling the time when he was a 26-year-old dazzler, McCullum wondered, “Why was I the one who got that opportunity to be able to go and face (the) first (delivery) with Sourav Ganguly? How did I get a chance to play in the first game, have the first opportunity to bat in such a huge tournament for world cricket?
“How was I even able to grab that opportunity? How much luck did I have along the way? Honestly, I don’t know the answers to any of these, but what I do know is that it changed my life forever.”
His score has been battered only once in 11 seasons so far, by Chris Gayle.
McCullum also recalled his then captain and opening partner Ganguly’s reaction to his incredible innings.
“Dada said, ‘Your life is changed forever,’ and I didn’t quite know what he meant at the time, but (in hindsight), I 100 percent agree with him,” McCullum said.
“Shah Rukh (Khan, the KKR co-owner), in the months which followed or the days and the weeks and the months which followed, he said, ‘you’ll always be with the Knight Riders.'”
McCullum said he never thought he would be able to pull off an innings like that.
“I couldn’t have done it without my team-mates, that’s 100 percent sure,” he said. “It was just a surreal moment in time where you just look back and say, ‘How lucky was I?'”
McCullum had two stints with the Knight Riders, scoring 882 runs in 35 innings at a strike rate of nearly 121.