Brendon McCullum: How Phil Hughes' death changed cricket

Brendon McCullum. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Brendon McCullum. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Brendon McCullum has used his MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture to reflect on the death of Phil Hughes and how the tragedy changed cricket.

McCullum's talked about how Hughes' death in 2014 changed the attitude of his team towards playing without fear of failure.

Australian international Hughes passed away in December, 2014 after being struck in the neck while batting in a Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales.

The Black Caps were playing a test against Pakistan in Sharjah at the time and McCullum told his bowlers to not bowl any bouncers for the remainder of the test.

McCullum said: "I reminded the team that there would be no harsh judgment on any player's performance and no consequences for failure.

"I believe that what motivated us was Phil Hughes. We knew we had to play and we would do that as best we could, to honour Phil and the game itself.

"The outcome of the 'uncaring', no consequence play was a revelation to me.

Watch: McCullum on respecting the opposition:

Watch:McCullum on retirement:

"I suspect it was something I had been trying to achieve on a personal level for years; but I had been unable to do so, except for fleeting moments. Here there was a release of many of the external factors that can creep in and influence a player.

"There was an instinctiveness that took over - no fear of failure, just playing and being 'in the moment'."

McCullum also openly discussed the change of approach under his leadership, describing his desire for the side to "personify the traits that we identified in New Zealanders - to be humble and hard-working."

McCullum added: "We wanted to be respected by our long-suffering fans in New Zealand.

"We wanted to be respected by our opposition; and before we could demand this we had to learn to respect them."

- Daily Mail

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