Brendon McCullum calls time
New Zealand cricket legend Brendon McCullum has announced he will play his last KFC Big Bash League game with the Brisbane Heat on Friday night at the Gabba.
McCullum informed the club he chose not to take up the option in his contract for BBL|09 and will play his last home game at the Gabba this Friday night when the Heat takes on the Melbourne Stars.
A foundation signing of the Heat in BBL|01, McCullum said he would not play again in the BBL.
He addressed the playing group in the aftermath of last night’s commanding win over defending BBL champions Adelaide Strikers at the Adelaide Oval and told them of his decision.
“I will continue to play T20 cricket in 2019 in various competitions around the world and will then look to transition into a coaching career,’’ he said.
“The prospect of being able to transfer the skills, experience and leadership I have been lucky enough to bank over my long T20 and also international career into coaching is very exciting."
“I have absolutely loved playing for the Heat. The fans have been amazing with their support and I have enjoyed seeing the pleasure they get from coming to our matches and having fun.”
“I’ve had a great time playing with my teammates, and it was a privilege to captain them. Coming into Brisbane each year before the start of the competition was always a highlight.”
“Being a part of the BBL has been a special part of my career. Having been there at the start, and then seeing it grow and evolve into one of the best T20 competitions in the world has been great to be part of.
“I think the BBL will get stronger and better from here too as everyone becomes more comfortable with the format and the clubs continue to be bold in their planning and preparations.”
Brisbane Heat General Manager Andrew McShea thanked McCullum for his commitment and unstinting passion for attacking, entertaining cricket.
“Baz has been instrumental in developing the club on and off the field and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have had him involved from the beginning as a foundation player in 2011,’’ he said.
“He’s been key in shaping the direction of the Heat and our approach to how the game is played. He has been involved in some fantastic wins and been a positive influence around the club.
“On behalf of the club, our members, sponsors and fans, we wish him and his family all the very best for the future,” he said.
McShea urged fans and members to get to the Gabba this Friday night to provide a suitable farewell for McCullum as he brings to a close his era with the Heat.
“It would be fitting to have a big crowd at the game to provide Baz with an ideal send-off and enable the fans to say thanks,’’ he said.
Queensland Cricket CEO Max Walters paid tribute to McCullum’s drive and dedication while a member of the Heat.
“Brendon is a quality person and the class he displayed within the playing group and off the field with our sponsors and fans is second to none. We wish him all the success in the future and assure him that he remains a welcome member of the extended Brisbane Heat and Queensland Cricket family,’’ he said.
Heat coach Dan Vettori said McCullum had made an indelible contribution to the club and would leave a significant legacy to the playing group.
“His greatest quality is wanting everyone in the team to do well and this week will give us all a wonderful opportunity to reflect on his values and show how we can build on them in the future,’’ he said.
Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek for Friday’s match which starts at 7.40pm.
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