12 years ago on this date, India’s Premier cricketing event the Indian Premier League was born. Brendon McCullum announced the arrival of IPL in absolute style as the wicket-keeper batsman smashed a breathtaking 158 off just 73 balls in the inaugural match of the first-ever IPL. We reminisce McCullum’s roof lifting innings Chinnaswamy Stadium on this date back in 2008.
McCullum hit 10 boundaries and 13 sixes for Kolkata Knight Riders in the first match against Royal Challenger Bangalore. The Blackcaps player changed the way cricket was perceived on that night with his scintillating knock. McCullum had a quiet start to the game not scoring a single run off Praveen Kumar’s first balls. Later on, the wicketkeeper-batsman began to wreak havoc on his opposition and RCB had no idea of what hit them. McCullum had blasted 158 at a strike rate of over 216 and KKR had posted 222/3. Years later, McCullum would recall the night that changed his life forever.
“I never really got too nervous throughout my cricket career, but on that occasion, I’ll admit I was very nervous. I think none of us really knew what this tournament (the IPL) was going to be like,” he told KKR’s official website
“We all loved the idea of it, we loved the fanfare, but all the eyeballs of the cricketing world got turned towards Bangalore that night. That night, my life changed completely in the space of those three hours or actually, even an hour-hour and a half.
McCullum’s 158 remained the highest individual score in T20 cricket for the next five years before Chris Gayle overtook it by smashing Pune Warriors en route to a brutal unbeaten 175 off 66 balls at the same venue. But it still remains the fifth-highest T20 score today and the second-highest in IPL.
“What I did that night was something I didn’t think I was capable of achieving. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, that’s 100% sure. It was just a surreal moment in time where you just look back and say, ‘How lucky was I?’,” McCullum said.
“I was just a young kid back then. Was so in awe of Shah Rukh Khan who was such a mega-star. I was so out of my depth even just around the superstars in my cricket team, let alone the megastar who owned our cricket team,” he added.