Regardless of how the two-test series against Australia ends, the career of Brendon McCullum will be long cherished by cricket fans.

The 34-year-old is retiring after the second test, though he intends to keep playing in the T20 arena in India, England and the West Indies.

As the 28th captain of New Zealand, appointed in messy circumstances over Ross Taylor in 2012, his time at the helm has been short. But during his tenure, McCullum has led from the front. At the crease he has been brash, brutal and belligerent.

His 91 sixes in T20 games is a world record. He is the only player to hit two T20 centuries. In his final 50-over game in Hamilton last Sunday, he cleared the boundary three times in 27 balls to take him to 200 sixes from 260 ODI games.


His punishing assaults on opposing attacks often catapulted New Zealand to imposing starts, and gave the side a momentum which left rivals struggling and fans cheering. Under McCullum, New Zealand's 36-22 win-loss record is the best of all national captains who have led the side in 10 or more games.

He was the first skipper to take New Zealand into a World Cup final, against Australia in Melbourne.

Bravely, he testified last year for the prosecution at the Chris Cairns perjury trail in London.

In June, McCullum will deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's in recognition of the way his team has played and conducted itself under his captaincy.

It is a fitting honour for a fine career.