Brutal and brilliant, Brendon McCullum is capable of destroying the best of bowling attacks.

A wicketkeeper-batsman, McCullum has been used throughout the New Zealand batting order, but whenever he arrives at the crease it's impossible to look away.

He was responsible for getting the IPL off to an electrifying start, lighting up the tournament's first match with 158 and showing what the format had to offer. And he reprised that style in Tests too - striking the fastest century in the format's history in his final match.

He also became the second man, after Chris Gayle, to score a Twenty20 international century when he brazenly scooped 155kph offerings from Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes over the wicketkeeper's head in Christchurch in 2009-10.

 

Career statistics (T20s 2005-present)

Full Name: Brendon Barrie McCullum

Born: September 27, 1981, Dunedin, Otago (38)

Major teams:  New Zealand, Brisbane Heat, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Glamorgan, Gujarat Lions, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, New South Wales, Otago, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sussex, Toronto Nationals, Trinbago Knight Riders, Warwickshire

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

 

T20I Career

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50         

71           70           10           2140      123        35.66     1571      136.21          2         13         

T20 Career

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50 

370        364           33           9922      158*      29.97     7269      136.49          7         55

Career highlights

  • 6th most runs all-time in T20I, 2140 avg. 35.66
  • 71 T20I caps for NZ
  • Record for the highest runs scored at a T20 WC (123)
  • 1st player to score 1,000 T20I runs
  • Has scored a century in all three formats of the game
  • First player to score two T20I tons
  • New Zealand T20 Player of the Year (2012/13)
  • 3rd most runs scored in T20 matches (9922 at 29.97)

Brendon McCullum was a brutal batsman capable of destroying bowling attacks like few other men in international cricket.

A wicketkeeper-batsman, McCullum has been used throughout the New Zealand batting order and was destructive wherever he bats.

His wicket-keeping was also quite brilliant.

On April 5, 2009, on day three of the third Test match during India's tour of New Zealand, he displayed an amazing level of alertness in the dismissal of Rahul Dravid.

Dravid attempted a sweep shot off Daniel Vettori's bowling, but McCullum saw what Dravid was up to before the ball had even pitched and moved swiftly to his left (Dravid's leg side). Ross Taylor at first slip did the same. The ball came nicely off Dravid's bat but flew straight into the hands of a waiting Brendon McCullum.

However, it was his batting that captured the imagination for the sheer brutality.

On November 6 2009, against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi, McCullum scored his second ODI century of 131 to elevate New Zealand to 303 and win the match to level the series.

On February 16, 2010, during the only Test match against Bangladesh, he scored 185, which is the highest score ever by a New Zealand wicket-keeper in Test cricket. He was also involved in the record highest sixth-wicket partnership for New Zealand of 339 runs.

On February 27, 2010, McCullum became the second player to score a T20I hundred, finishing 116 not out, the West Indies Chris Gayle was the first.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Brendon Barrie McCullum

Born: September 27, 1981, Dunedin, Otago

Major teams: New Zealand, Brisbane Heat, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Glamorgan, Gujarat Lions, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, New South Wales, Otago, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sussex, Toronto Nationals, Trinbago Knight Riders, Warwickshire

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: New Zealand (2002-2016)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           Ct           St

260        228        28           6083      166        30.41     6312      96.37     5             32           262        15

 

ODI Career: New Zealand (2002-2016)

  • Fastest to score a fifty in World Cup history (18 balls)
  • Has the 4th fastest ODI 50 of all time
  • Led the New Zealand team to their first World Cup final

Brendon McCullum said the inaugural Indian Premier League game "changed his life forever" as he recalled the magical 158 not out he scored 12 years ago.

McCullum lit up the opening match of the 2008 campaign as he inspired Kolkata Knight Riders to victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in a star-studded affair.

He struck 10 fours and 13 sixes in a 73-ball innings, his historic performance setting the IPL on the road to success.

Asked for his recollections of the match, McCullum told KKR's official website: "I never really got too nervous throughout my cricket career, but on that occasion, I'll admit I was very nervous. I think none of us really knew what this tournament was going to be like.

"We all loved the idea of it, we loved the fanfare, but all the eyeballs of the cricketing world got turned towards Bangalore that night. I feel so lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity [to be a part of that spectacle].

"You talk about sliding doors, and moments in your careers and in lives. That night, my life changed completely in the space of those three hours or actually, even an hour, hour and a half.

"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.

"It changed my family's life forever, and I feel very blessed and very humble and very lucky. What I did that night was something I didn't think I was capable of achieving. I couldn't have done it without my team-mates, that's 100 per cent sure. It was just a surreal moment in time where you just look back and say, 'How lucky was I?'

"I was just a young kid back then, so I was so in awe of [co-owner and Bollywood star] Shah Rukh Khan who was such a mega star.

"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 [in hindsight], I 100 per cent agree with him. Shah Rukh, 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.'

For the Indian Premier League and NFL legend Peyton Manning, April 18 is when it all began.

Twelve years ago the world's premier Twenty20 franchise cricket tournament began with a bang as Brendon McCullum delivered a thrilling example of the format's appeal.

A decade earlier, the Indianapolis Colts made a decision that would alter the franchise's fortunes, for the better, when they selected quarterback Manning.

We take a look at the most notable sporting moments to have occurred on April 18 in years gone by.

 

1998 - Colts opt for Manning over Leaf

Heading into the 1998 NFL Draft there was little to separate Tennessee quarterback Manning and Washington State signal caller Ryan Leaf in many experts' eyes.

The Colts had the first overall pick and chose Manning, who would lead them to 11 playoff appearances and two Super Bowls - their victory over the Chicago Bears in the first resulting in the franchise's first Lombardi Trophy since they relocated from Baltimore.

Manning ended his career in Indianapolis with a glut of franchise records whereas Leaf, who was drafted directly behind him to the San Diego Chargers, proved to be one of the NFL Draft's biggest busts, playing in just 25 games.

 

1999 - 'The Great One' bows out

The crowd at Madison Square Garden said farewell to an NHL legend as 'The Great One' Wayne Gretzky played the 1,487th and final game of his decorated career.

He scored his 2,857th point - an assist - as his New York Rangers suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Gretzky remains the leading scorer in NHL history and at the time of his retirement he held 61 league records.

 

2008 - McCullum stars in IPL's curtain-raiser

The IPL need not have worried about fireworks for their opening ceremony as they duly came from the bat of a New Zealander once the action began.

McCullum smashed an incredible 158 not out off 73 balls as Kolkata Knight Riders obliterated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 140 runs in the first ever IPL match.

The only man to better that total in IPL history is Chris Gayle, who became the first to surpass 10,000 runs in T20 cricket on April 18, 2017.

2008 - SuperSonics relocation gets the NBA owners' seal of approval 

April 18 is a dark day for Seattle sports fans as it was when they learned NBA owners had voted in favour of moving the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City.

Just five days after the Sonics had played what proved to be their final game in Seattle, 28 of the 30 owners approved a move to OKC, where the team became the Thunder.

Professional basketball has not returned to Seattle since, while a Thunder team featuring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden reached the 2012 NBA Finals, where they were beaten by the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.

There are so many things to love about cricket.  But most of us will freely admit that very few things are as satisfying as watching the ball scream well clear of the boundary ropes, perhaps to parts unknown. Unless, of course, you are watching your favourite bowler, or it was your team that desperately needed the ball to stay in the ground. 

Standing obdurately at the crease to deliver these telling blows are often some of cricket's Supermen, bulky, sinewy they come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing remains constant, once they get going, nothing gets in their way. 

Today we pay tribute to 10 of the game’s biggest hitters but with a twist. Our hitting greats have been put into two teams of five. Who could you count on to get the runs you need? Your guess is as good as ours.  Below are the picks for 10 of the heaviest hitters.