Brendon McCullum opens up about loving cricket again in Australia

Brendon McCullum says he is enjoying his time playing cricket in Australia. Photo / File
Brendon McCullum says he is enjoying his time playing cricket in Australia. Photo / File

Controversial former Black Cap captain Brendon McCullum has opened up about falling in love with cricket again.

In an exclusive interview with Tony Veitch to air on Newstalk ZB today, McCullum's talks about his red-hot form for the Brisbane Heat in the Australian Big Bash competition, and how much he is enjoying his time across the Tasman.

His starring role for the Heat comes three months after the release of his book Declared, in which McCullum opened up on the private pain that was associated with his controverial tenure as Black Caps captain.

That included criticism of his captaincy style, heat he felt from the media and section of the sporting public to his explosive playing style - which often lead to failure - and how the controversy which surrounded his replacement of Ross Taylor had impacted on him personally.

At the height of the public bagging, McCullum revealed in his book that he had considered quitting the national team well before his eventual retirement early last year.

He echoed that sentiment in his interview with Veitch.

"This is one of the bugbears when i was playing international cricket," he said.

"I sort of felt we were so quick to celebrate our team as kings or so quick to hook into our team about being paupers."

In comparison he said he was embracing the positivity that abounded in the Big Bash League, as well as the chance to spend time in the Aussie sunshine with his young family.

"I'm sitting here at Broadbeach at the moment, I'm here in the pool with my kids ... and I'm going to drive back to Brisbane and turn up and play in front of a full house at the Gabba, and hopefully it goes well, and if it doesn't people will still be complimentary of you and you look forward to the next game," he said.

"It's a very positive environment to be a part of and it's one I feel very priveleged to be part of.

"You also look at the positvity and the compliments about all the players involved everyone just likes to be part of the competition.

"I think sometimes we turn on the TV and we watch test cricket and were trying to pick apart guy's perfomances and techniques, whereas in the Big Bash we're always celebrating the success of players."

McCullum said he felt "very lucky" to be a part of the Big Bash League.

"You turn up and you play in front of full houses the whole time, and I think the standard of cricket is phenomenal."

McCullum also said more New Zealanders, such as big-hitting Black Cap Colin Munro, may be tempted to curb their ambitions to play for the national side in favour of travelling the world playing solely in Twenty20 competitions.

It is understood McCullum is earning well in excess of the near $174,000 base salary he received as Black Caps captain for just four weeks work in the Big Bash League.

"We can put our head in the sand and say everyone should want to represent their country and I think first and foremost people do, but there's an opportunity cost as well," he said.

"You look at a guy like Colin Munro. T20 teams all around the world look at him and see him as an excitement machine, and yet he can be - without being disrespectful - out at Eden Park No. 2, on an overcast day playing a four-day game where he doesn't really enjoy it and he's playing for $1000, or he can go and play in front of a full house over here at the SCG or the MCG and get $25,000 a game and be loved and wanted the whole time.

"You've got to do the maths as well.

"There will certainly be guys in New Zealand who will be thinking that the T20 circuit is for them. The danger is that you have to earn the right as well... and that's where New Zealand Cricket has been excellent for us, they've understood it and they've given us opportunities as well.

He also warned that the popularity of the shortest form of the game could pose a threat to traditional test match cricket.

"I guess it is dangerous for all the current structures of cricket around the world but hopefully it can co-exist with test cricket as well."

- NZ Herald

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