- 18th April 2008 was the date when IPL started
- On this date, Brendon McCullum went on and scored an unbeaten 158 runs
- He says, “It changed my life forever”
On 18th April 2008, the Indian Premier League started and went on to become on the most successful and star studded cricket league in the world. It was this day when the first ever match of the IPL was played between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) where the 26 year old New Zealand player Brendon McCullum lit up the stadium with a breathtaking inning.
In the innings he scored unbeaten 158 runs off just 73 balls for KKR and the ferocity of his attack is such that the only time someone bettered him was inIPL 2013 when Chris Gayle scored unbeaten 175 runs off just 66 balls.
McCullum has now reunited with KKR but now not as a player but rather as a coach. Though IPL 2020 has been suspended for an indefinite period of time talking to kkr.in about that night, McCullum said, “You talk about sliding doors, and moments in your careers and in lives,” and added “That night, my life changed completely in the space of those three hours or actually, even an hour and a half”.
He added, “Why was I the one who got that opportunity to be able to go and face [the] first [ball of the inning] 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.”
Looking back at the match, McCullum admitted that he never actually thought he had the potential to pull off such a feat. To state some figures from the match, his first 50 on that night came from 32 balls, his second came from 21, though they both are quite huge in themselves, his third half-century came in just 17 balls. He smashed 158 runs unbeaten and helped KKR reach 222 after a loss of 3 wickets.
What is more interesting is that fact that the whole RCB squad went back to the dressing room after 15.1 over and with just 82 on the scoreboard.
He says, “I couldn’t have done it without my team-mates, that’s 100% sure,” and adds, “It was just a surreal moment in time where you just look back and say, ‘How lucky was I?’”
Recalling the what his then captain and opening partner, Sourav Ganguly had said about his innings McCullum quoted, “Dada said, ‘Your life is changed forever,’ and I didn’t quite know what he meant at the time, but [in retrospection], I 100% agree with him,”.
He also recalled what King Khan said to him, “Shah Rukh [Co-Owner of KKR], 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.’”