Cricket: Proud dad to remain a fan

Stu McCullum has enjoyed watching his son's career with the Black Caps. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Stu McCullum has enjoyed watching his son's career with the Black Caps. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Stu McCullum was in the stands when his son scored a triple-century, but much more than one individual milestone stands out when reflecting on Brendon's career with the Black Caps.

With that career coming to an end after the second test against Australia, which starts next Saturday in Christchurch, Stu will again be present to watch Brendon's last appearance for his country.

And what he will witness - a united New Zealand team, playing with the spirit of their skipper and standing toe to toe with the world's best - is what makes Stu such a proud dad.

"The 302 was very special because it had never been done before," Stu told Newstalk ZB. "But the adversity of what was happening right from South Africa (45 all out in Brendon's first test as captain), and prior to that with all the captaincy issues, to see how the team have gelled and how happy they are, and how much they play for each other and the country is probably the proudest thing.

"My biggest thing that I would like him to be remembered for is that he's a genuine player and team man who felt dearly about the people he played with."

While the last couple of years, in particular, have made that clear to all but the most zealous of detractors, Brendon has certainly faced plenty of criticism during his time wearing the black cap. From his perceived attitude to his batting approach, the New Zealand captain never enjoyed a unanimous approval rating, and Stu was hurt to hear some of the more negative comments directed at both of his sons.

"It was quite hurtful at times," he said. "I used to get really quite upset about a lot of the stuff being said about Brendon and Nathan, but those people being critical have no idea what they are like and the perception that he's a jumped up so and so.

"In actual fact, he really cares about people. In my mind, he plays it for all the right reasons. He so passionate about playing for New Zealand and the people he plays with. He has never taken anything for granted."

As for Brendon's recklessness when at the crease, Stu has learned, like most fans, that it's a price to pay to enjoy such a destructive batsman, knowing Brendon's effectiveness cannot come with taking risks.

"I probably get as frustrated as anyone else and I'm sure it's as frustrated as he gets," Stu said. "But we take the good with the bad. I also know what he has done. He doesn't go out on purpose. We just live it it."

Having enjoyed his own fruitful first-class career, making 75 appearances for Otago, Stu will remain in cricket once his sons have called it a day. He'll continue to cheer on the team his son helped craft, though there will be one crucial difference.

"It will be a bit strange," he said. "It won't stop me supporting and going to Black Cap games but I might be sitting on the bank rather than those boxes."

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 23 Oct 2016 07:29:35 Processing Time: 1159ms