Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

McCaw on McCullum: I have admired his leadership

Brendon McCullum received a Sport NZ Leadership Award at the 53rd Halberg Awards. Photo / Dean Purcell.
Brendon McCullum received a Sport NZ Leadership Award at the 53rd Halberg Awards. Photo / Dean Purcell.

Add in Richie McCaw to the ever-growing legion of Brendon McCullum admirers.

The Black Caps captain is on the eve of his final test for the Black Caps, sure to be a sentimental occasion in Christchurch.

Speaking at the Halberg Awards on Thursday night, McCaw admitted he was a big fan of the record-breaking McCullum.

"I played against Brendon when I was at school so I've known him for a while," said McCaw. "What I admire about him - obviously as a cricketer he can do things that others can't - but the one thing I have admired in the last little while is his leadership."

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McCaw, who made his All Blacks debut a few months before McCullum took his first bow with the Black Caps says McCullum re-ignited his interest in the summer game.

"For a while I didn't probably know who they were, didn't follow as closely as I did when I was younger," said McCaw.

"But in the last few years that team has become a real team; bound together, who really want to do well and strive for excellence. They don't win every time but you can see they are giving absolutely everything - that's when you start following them. That's a credit to his leadership and I've admired watching what he has done."

McCaw added that he has never sat down to formally catch up and swap ideas with his cricketing counterpart.

"[Brendon and I] have shared a beer a few times."said McCaw. "I was interested to know what happens in a cricket team, what are their challenges and what's it like facing that quick guy. He probably asks us a similar type of question."

McCaw, who accompanied by Beauden Barrett, Keven Melalamu, Jerome Kaino and Hansen last night, has recently had his first summer off in more than a decade. He's also enjoyed the chance of reflecting on the All Blacks' unprecedented success over the last few years.

"It's nice to be able to look back without the weight of what's coming up hanging over you," said McCaw, "It's rare to have that as an athlete."

Richie's last interview as All Blacks captain. See all the Halberg Award winners at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11591884

Posted by nzherald.co.nz on Thursday, February 18, 2016

- NZ Herald

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