Is Brendon McCullum retiring too soon?

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Photo by Sarah Ansell
Photo by Sarah Ansell

Yes. Yes he is. The answer you are looking for is ‘yes’.

Now that he’s a statesmanlike trendsetter and role model, the very embodiment of what cricket should be, it’s easy to forget that for many years Brendon McCullum was just a mediocre wicketkeeper-batsman who typically flailed then failed in the Test format. Despite short format successes, it was only around 2010 when he started looking like a semi-reliably devastating batsman in the serious stuff and there have been great fallow stretches even since then.

You wouldn’t say he’s exactly cracked it now, but last year’s performances were enough to see him named Conjoined Lord Megachief of Gold and if this year hasn’t seen such highs, it surely wouldn’t have been foolish to anticipate further impressive peaks to come. Those that preceded it were sufficiently lofty that even if he’s since declined, there was a very long way to fall.

But that’s not McCullum’s way. Nor is it most people’s way. You spend a long, long time working towards the top, but once you’ve reached your summit there’s typically little appetite for dallying around at fractionally lower altitudes. You may have acclimatised and it may be more comfortable than on the way up, but where’s the motivation? Far better to head back down to a shower and a nice warm bed and maybe watch a bit of telly.



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    1. We thought 34 was the new 24. Is it going the other way now?

      How old’s 37 then? Asking for a friend.

      1. I’m just a little concerned about 37 being the new 53.

        What’s 53 the new, then?

        Likewise, asking for a friend.

  1. He’ll be greatly missed, for both his mental (mental, chicken oriental) approach to batting and his stewardship of his team and sometimes the game itself.
    It was an absolute pleasure to have seen him bat; admittedly just a brief cameo in being bowled first ball by Stokes at Lord’s this May, but a fitting representation of one side of his game.

    Baz McCullum.

    1. My only memory of the 2015 World Cup is B-Mac getting bowled by Starc to ruin the final.

      Did anything else happen?

  2. Has not done justice to his talent. Also has yet to recover from world cup mental-ness (possibly brains permanently scrambled), Afridiism etc. Huge loss though. I’ll miss him. Wish I had watched some of those innings(es?) last year. Not sure about KW as captain, don’t want to ruin his batting. Maybe Taylor again? Wagner!

  3. The good thing about retiring this young is that it leaves room for a comeback, says the inner optimist.

    1. The great thing about that comment is that someone thinks 34 is young, says the inner optimist.

      1. Flintoff retired at 31. A good old-fashioned early retire.

        Nobody goes on until 40 anymore. Except Chris Rogers, who famously hobbled on into his 80s.

        How old was Shiv when he called it quits?

      2. Shiv hasn’t yet called it quits, I don’t think. He was dropped rather unceremoniously, as I recall, and people are still calling for him to be brought back. Hard to argue with them, honestly.

      3. What are the odds on Misbah still being in the side when they finally get to move back home from the Middle East? He’s only 41, so he’s got at least another twenty years in him before his back and knees give up on him. Could still outrun Inzy even then…

  4. Nice to see Lord’s, The Home Of Cricket’s pavilion in the background of the photo, KC.

    I can even make out the unmistakable shape and sartorial incontinence of “Good Old Fingers” in the background, albeit (indeed mercifully) in very soft focus.

    Well done, KC.

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