Nathan McCullum    Getty Images
Nathan McCullum Getty Images

Nathan Leslie McCullum, born September 1, 1980, is a New Zealand bowling all-rounder. He is also elder brother of Brendon McCullum. He has been one of the regular players for New Zealand in Twenty20 internationals (T20I) since 2009, making sporadic appearances in the 50-over format. On his 35th birthday, Abhishek Kumar lists out nine interesting facts about this Black Cap.

1. Initially a footballer

Before becoming a cricketer, Nathan played for Caversham AFC as a striker and was awarded with team s golden boot in 1999 for scoring 19 goals. He also plays for Mosgiel, and remains an avid follower of the sport.

2. Cricketing family

Nathan and Brendon McCullum got their cricket genes from their father Stuart James McCullum. Stu McCullum was an Otago wicketkeeper. He once smashed a 142-ball 121 against Northern Districts: the attack consisted of Brendon Bracewell and Lance Cairns.

3. A sporting childhood

The McCullum brothers had a very carefree childhood. They had a decent space in their backyard to play cricket and all other sports with their friends.

4. Pushed by Mike Hesson

After making his T20I debut against South Africa in 2007, Nathan had to wait two years to get another chance at international cricket. During this period he worked hard with Mike Hesson, currently head coach of New Zealand cricket team. Nathan always credits Mike for his place in the national side as he pushed him hard and had a major impact on his career.

5. Reputed T20 player

Though he has never played Test cricket Nathan has been the one of the main player for both his national side and for his other T20 franchises. He has a reputation of travelling T20 player as he has played for Lancashire, Pune Warriors India, Sydney Sixers, Glamorgan and Otago as well.

6. 2015 World Cup

He was the part of the Black Caps team during the World Cup 2015 tournament but was never chosen to play and remained in bench. He was mostly used as substitute fielder, for Daniel Vettori played as their lead spinner.

7. Dream

Nathan has been one of keen player for New Zealand in shorter formats and also wants to play Test cricket. The only dream he lives with is winning World Cup can be a part of the team in any format.

8. Unintentionally humiliated

After playing the first semi-final of 2011 World Cup against Sri Lanka at Colombo, two girls came to him and asked for his autograph; they also provided him with pen and paper. As soon as he was about to mark it, they pulled it away as they wanted the autograph of his younger brother Brendon. The girls apologised; Nathan smiled back with an it s okay .

9. That Rangana Herath over

Nobody gave New Zealand a chance in the Hambantota ODI of 2013-14. Sri Lanka needed 20 off the last over. Jimmy Neesham took 3 off the first 2 balls. With 17 to score off the last 4, Nathan McCullum hit 6, 4, 6, 6 to finish it off. He finished unbeaten on a 9-ball 32.