Kolkata, April 17 (IANS) Sourav Ganguly told Brendon McCullum that his life had changed forever after the former New Zealand captain smashed an unbeaten 73-ball 158 for Kolkata Knight Riders in the first-ever Indian Premier League (IPL) game on April 18 in 2008.

Wicketkeeper batsman McCullum recalled that night where his blistering knock laced with 13 sixes and 10 fours helped KKR win by 140 runs against the Rahul Dravid led Royal Challengers Bangalore. It is still IPL’s second highest score with Chris Gayle’s 175 not out topping the charts.

“I don’t remember many reactions in detail, but what I do remember is what Sourav Ganguly said to me that night,” current KKR head coach McCullum told Knights Unplugged on www.kkr.in.

“Dada said, ‘Your life is changed forever’, and I didn’t quite know what he meant at the time, but (in hindsight), I 100% agree with him. Shah Rukh (Khan), in the months which followed or the days and the weeks and the months which followed, he said. ‘you’ll always be with the Knight Riders.’

“There were times when I was with KKR, and then I got released, but we always finished on really good terms. I was always very grateful, and thankful for the opportunity that the franchise had provided for me. So when an opportunity arose again (for the role of head coach), I thought: ‘Well, Shah Rukh did say to me ‘You’ll always be very involved with KKR’ and this, I guess, is another opportunity’, said the 38-year old who has played 101 Tests, 260 ODIs and 71 T20s for the Black Caps.

McCullum said he is generally not a nervous guy before a game, but on that occasion it was different.

“Well, 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. 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.

“I feel so lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity (to be a part of that spectacle). You talk about sliding doors, and moments in your careers and in lives. That night, my life changed completely in the space of those three hours or actually, even an hour-hour and a half.

“It changed my family’s life forever, and I feel very blessed and very humble and very lucky. 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?’ he added.




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