Who is the best cricketer we have seen?
Many say there never will be another like Sachin Tendulkar, others think Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara, the list is endless.
But if they were asked to list their top five favourite players to watch, I’m sure Brendon McCullum would make at least 80% of those lists easily.
They don’t make too many like Baz. The man may not always have been the most consistent, nor necessarily a match-winner for New Zealand at all times, but there would be many who would travel miles to see him bat.
So when New Zealand took on Australia in the second Test of their series, at Christchurch, it was business as usual. All would line up when Baz came in to bat, and congratulate him when he got out, or the match ended. McCullum, on his part, did what he does best. He shed the thoughts of what lies beyond and focussed on the ball. Then he began hitting it, and he kept hitting it to all parts and beyond. Till he reached a Test century off just 54 deliveries. Did he go in thinking that he would do something remarkable? Doubtful.
What he did was what he is good at – taking a good look at the ball and then use those mighty forearms and wrists to send it flying. The simplest way to play cricket, and the most effective.
Many ‘great’ players have over-thought their retirements, in terms of strategy, marketing gimmicks or plain emotional dramas. But McCullum did what he does best, and how!
This is what makes him a legend. He might not have won New Zealand as many games as many hearts he has won in his career.
Not only his team and his fan will miss him, cricket will miss him.
Take a bow BAZ!