Former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum has opened up about the moments following his controversial dismissal in the Cricket World Cup final against Australia in 2015 – admitting he burst out laughing in the dressing room after realising he had "messed it up".
McCullum, who was pivotal to the Black Caps' charge to the title decider in Melbourne,scoring 328 runs at a strike rate of 188.50 in the tournament, was heavily criticised after being bowled for a duck swinging wildly at a straight Mitchell Starc delivery – only the third of the match.
His wicket proved to be a crucial moment in the final, as the Black Caps could only manage a paltry total of 183 runs and eventually suffered a seven-wicket defeat.
"I got back in the dressing room, sat down and just laughed," McCullum told espncricinfo.com.
"All my life I had dreamt of that moment. As a child, I played it out against mates day after day, and as a man, I practised for it with an almost eerie certainty that one day it would come.
"I mean, the World Cup final, against Australia, at the MCG on a hot and sunny day and I was captain of my country. I won the toss, chose to bat and, with Martin Guptill at my side, walked out to open the innings. It cannot get any better.
"I took first ball and the plan was to set the tone. I was more ready for this than anyone outside my closest circle of friends and family could begin to understand. I was facing Mitchell Starc, the quickest and best bowler in the tournament. I was excited but not overexcited; in fact, I reckon I was pitch-perfect for anything Starcy might throw at me."
McCullum retired from international cricket in 2016 after a career spanning 14 years at the top.
McCullum still plays as a T20 freelancer across the globe and has been behind the microphone for the World Cup in the UK.
"You know why I laughed back in the dressing room? Because I forgot the only single thing that really matters. I forgot to watch the ball," McCullum said.
"Yes, it was a bad shot, but it wasn't a bad idea, no way. If I had watched the ball and hit it well, the tone would have been set. But I didn't. After a lifetime of dreaming about exactly that moment, I messed it up. So I laughed – otherwise I'd still be crying."
The Black Caps take on hosts England on Wednesday night in their final pool match.
They are practically guaranteed a place in the semifinals, despite back-to-back defeats, against Pakistan and Australia.
The Alternative Commentary Collective are podcasting their way through the World Cup. Known for their unconventional sports analysis and off-kilter banter, the ACC have come to ask the tough questions. Here's the latest episode of 'The Agenda':
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT