The 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is about to start in less than 10 days and all the lovers of the game have begun to don the jerseys of their favorite franchises to show what this tournament means for them. But, do you know when it all started? And how this small idea of having a league became one of the most popular business models around the world?
It all started in 2008 and the man who was responsible to make it popular was none other than New Zealand’s explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum.
11 years ago, the right-handed batsman gave Indian Premier League the most explosive start possible. It was the first match of the inaugural edition of India’s cash-rich league and McCullum was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders, which was led by Sourav Ganguly at that time. He was playing against Royal Challengers Bangalore, which had amazing bowlers like Dale Steyn, Zaheer Khan, and Anil Kumble in their squad.
But when McCullum gets to the crease, he can clear any boundary at will and can hit any world-class bowler all over the park with minimal effort.
RCB skipper Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that he regretted after few initial overs of the match. He probably never expected that the next one hour or so will turn out to be a distressing experience for him and his side.
McCullum smashed every possible bowler present in the RCB line-up and played a scintillating knock of 158 runs off just 73 balls, hitting 10 fours and 13 TOWERING SIXES during his knock.
Interestingly, the right-handed opening batsman failed to score a single run off the first six balls into his knock. But, then showed why he is regarded as one of the most lethal batsmen across the globe and scored 18 runs off the next four balls.
The explosive batsman was opening the innings along with the ‘Bengal Tiger’ Sourav Ganguly. McCullum gave the crowd unbridled entertainment. A little known bowler called Ashley Noffke became McCullum’s first victim. The first one bowled on the leg stump was flat batted over square leg for a long six.
A full one was then smashed amazingly over extra cover inside out for another six. Noffke gave away 23 runs in that over and McCullum was just getting started.
After the end of 6 overs, KKR were 61 for the loss one wicket. But Brendon was still there. Just when the crowd was settled into their seats, the ball was given to Australia’s Cameron White. His seam up deliveries proved to be a perfect catalyst for McCullum’s aggression. Three boundaries in that over showed everyone that he just wanted to hit the balls over the park and did not worry about his century.
The batsman smashed the fourth ball of White’s over for a maximum. The shot was smashed over mid-wicket that settled beautifully in the stands. White’s first over went for 24 runs. McCullum reached his century in just 52 balls and the whole cricketing fraternity had never seen anything like this. The whole stadium erupted and roared so loud at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium that the whole Bangalore could hear it.
He did not stop after his century and scored 58 runs off 21 balls to take his tally to 158.
If we take the things into a perspective, Brendon scored 158 out of the 222 runs that Kolkata Knight Riders managed to get in their allotted 20 overs. The next highest score was Ricky Ponting’s 20. McCullum took just 73 deliveries for his 158, smashing at a strike-rate of 216.
In the last three overs, KKR smashed 50 runs with Brendon contributing 45 runs off it. After the end of the KKR innings, the RCB bowling card looked like this –
Praveen Kumar (4 Overs, 38 runs, E/R – 9.50)
Zaheer Khan (4 Overs, 38 runs, E/R – 9.50)
Ashley Noffke (4 Overs, 40 runs, E/R – 10)
Jacques Kallis (4 Overs, 48 runs, E/R – 12)
Cameron White (1 Over, 24 runs, E/R – 24)
The former Kiwi skipper shared three fifty-run plus partnerships. One with Sourav Ganguly (61 runs), second with Ricky Ponting (51 runs) and third with David Hussey (60 runs).
The whole RCB side could not get out from the shock that they endured in the first half of the match. The side was bundled out for just 82 runs with Praveen Kumar being the only player to reach the double figures (18 not out).
The explosive batsman from New Zealand gave the IPL a dream start. People needed to see this new experiment and this was something that people had never seen. They did not know what to expect, but McCullum showed them what was possible in the game of cricket now.
For showing how batsmen can rule the game and giving an amazing start to the Indian Premier League, Brendon ‘Baz’ McCullum is our ZOOPER DOOPER OF THE DAY.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar