Brendon McCullum apologises to Kumar Sangakkara for a controversial run out of Muttiah Muralitharan in 2006

It was the occasion of 2016 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, which was being addressed by former captain of New Zealand Brendon McCullum on June 6, 2016 at Lord’s. The 34-year-old former cricketer was selected for the event both in recognition of the way his team had played and for his captaincy along with support towards MCC Spirit of Cricket. Also Read: Eoin Morgan and Brendon McCullum vs NBA star Andre Drummond — 100 Points Challenge

He spoke about numerous things during his speech, which started from his formative days, then followed to Colin Cowdrey’s sportsmanship, his growth as a good sportsman from an abrasive and aggressive cricketer, and many more. One of the biggest things he did during his lecture was to apologise to former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara and spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan. Also Read: Cricket, Passion and Smile, three words that describe India, says Brendon McCullum

Back in December 2006, during the second innings of the first Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Christchurch, McCullum was involved in a very controversial run out of Muralitharan that led to a big stir in the cricket fraternity. Sri Lanka were nine down and Sangakkara was still at the crease and steadily moving towards his century. He took a single, waved his bat and suddenly realised an appeal which was made by McCullum. After taking that single, Muralitharan was going back to congratulate Sangakkara for his century and McCullum took this as an opportunity and run him out.

After a span of 10 years, McCullum spoke about this incident during his lecture and apologised to Sangakkara, who was present during his speech and said, “Nearly ten years after running out Murali, I view things very differently and I would hope that I am am a very different person. Kumar Sangakkara is here tonight. Sanga, I admire you enormously. I regard you as a friend. And I take this opportunity toapologise to you and Murali for my actions on that day.I want to share with you the things that I think were the primary catalysts for my change of approach. And I think it’s fair to say that they came late in my career.”