Phenomenal, But Controversial, Sendoff For McCullum

Publish Date
Tuesday, 9 February 2016, 9:53AM

The Black Caps have sent off Brendon McCullum from One Day Internationals in phenomenal fashion, winning the deciding Chappell Hadlee one-dayer in Hamilton by 55 runs.

McCullum retires from ODI cricket with an average of over 30 and a career strike rate of just over 96, walking out to the wicket to open the batting flanked by a guard of honour from the Australian side.

The 2-1 series victory snaps a run of seven straight ODI series wins for the world champions and sees the Black Caps move up to second in the ODI rankings.

Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi were called into the team to replace Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner, who were out for the decider with illness and injury respectively, and proved to be decisive

New Zealand bowler Matt Henry says they wanted to send McCullum out in the best way possible.

"To do this with Baz in this last ODI was special. He's a remarkable man and a remarkable leader and it's awesome to be on the field with him today and get that across the line."

Even Australian captain Steve Smith had praise for the way McCullum changed the way openers approach the game, and captains lead teams.

"To play two hundred and sixty matches or thereabouts for your country in one day cricket is a great achievement, so he should be really proud of everything he's achieved."

McCullum however played down that praise, saying he's always respected Australia's brand of cricket.

"That was what was quite humbling about today, that the guys showed that respect and you hope that you've earned it over the years. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."

The game wasn't without controversy - Australia were well placed at 164/5 chasing 247 to win when Mitchell Marsh was given out following a umpire review.

Replays showed he had hit the ball onto his foot before being caught by Matt Henry.

The umpires initially thought New Zealand hadn't appealed, but eventually sent the decision upstairs.

Steve Smith says it showed there are flaws in the system: "I think the New Zealand players genuinely believed it wasn't out and not until they saw it on the screen did they change their mind there, so I think the process needs to be improved a bit."
McCullum says surprisingly very little was said on the field.

"The only thing I said was, 'Surely the right decision needs to be made'. In the end it was."

The two sides now turn their attention to the two Test series starting in Wellington on Friday.

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