South African all rounder Albie Morkel is among those surprised at the timing of Brendon McCullum's retirement announcement.
Morkel, an explosive batsman the McCullum mould, told RadioSport that McCullum's departure after the Australian tests "would leave a massive gap in New Zealand cricket".
"I read the papers this morning and was pretty much surprised by his decision...I would have thought he would do it after the World Cup, but he'll have his good reasons," said Morkel.
Morkel said McCullum was respected for continuing to play his own game over a long career, and for the attacking mindset he encouraged in world cricket.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"He never changed his game plan and as a player I admire that," said Morkel.
"Sometimes you play the game that other people want, not what you want to play.
"He played a very aggressive brand which is very entertaining to watch. I have a lot of respect for him - over the past five or six years he's sort of carried New Zealand cricket on his shoulders...and he's very popular off the field.
"I think he set a trend in the last World Cup and his captaincy was the talk of the town. He was very aggressive...having four slips in a one dayer had never been done before. He was the first guy to play without a third man. I think a lot of captains around the world followed that trend.
"I sat in on many team discussions about how to get him out. If you didn't get him out early you would be on the losing side or the bowlers would get a bashing."