Brendon McCullum Recalls IPL 2008 Opening Night, Says Scoring 158* Changed my Life Forever
File image of Brendon McCullum in action for KKR©PTI

Former New Zealand and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Brendon McCullum called his unbeaten 158-run knock in the first-ever IPL match as a life-changing moment. In the first edition of IPL in 2008, the opening match was played between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

RCB won the toss and elected to bowl first. Little did they know, that a Kiwi batsman will take them to the cleaners. Put into bat, KKR got off to a flying start as openers Brendon McCullum and Sourav Ganguly put on 61 runs in just 5.2 overs.

Ganguly (10) was sent back to the pavilion by Zaheer Khan, but McCullum continued to march on. Hammering the bowlers to all around the park, McCullum spared no mercy on the opposition and as a result, he brought up his century in the 16th over of the innings.

McCullum, however, did not get bogged down and in the final four overs, he added 56 runs more to take his individual score to 158*. With this knock, KKR posted a mammoth score of 222/3 in the allotted twenty overs.

KKR then had no difficulty in defending the score as the side bundled out RCB for just 82 runs, winning the match by 140 runs.

“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 and a half,” KKR’s official website quoted McCullum as saying.

“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,” he added.

Coincidentally, 12 years back on this exact date, McCullum gave a glorifying start to the IPL as he scored 158*. He is often credited with bringing ruthlessness and never-say-attitude in the New Zealand team.

Under his leadership, New Zealand had reached the finals of the 2015 50-over World Cup. He played 101 Tests, 260 ODIs and 71 T20Is for the Kiwis.