This Lecture By Brendon McCullum Will Give You The Feels!

The MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture was inaugurated in 2001 in memory of the late Lord Colin Cowdrey of Tonbridge. The very cause of delivering the lecture is to make known the reverence for the founding tenets of the Spirit of Cricket: fairness, honesty, and respect.

Over the years, some of the finest gentlemen have been honored by delivering this lecture. To name a few, Sunil Gavaskar, Imran Khan, Sir Ian Botham, The Most Reverend Dr. Desmond Tutu, and Tony Grieg. In 2016, we were fortunate to have former New Zealand Skipper Brendon McCullum do the honors.

Brendon McCullum gave one of the finest lectures we have ever heard!


Son of a former Otago Cricketer, Brendon commenced his speech by talking about his early days in cricket as a child growing up in South Dunedin. His words & sparkling eyes were all about living his days of beauty & innocence that cricket offers.  In his opinion, as cricket has evolved, every generation of cricketers added something to the 140-year-old legacy of international cricket. He indicated how people now only refer to runs, records, controversies, averages but sadly the experiences of camaraderie, friendships & sportsmanship have become unappealing. Someone really needed to say this out loud!

A tad later, something unforeseen came up when he formally apologized to Kumar Sangakkara (attending the lecture) & Muttiah Muralitharan for his actions in 2006 Christchurch test match, when he deliberately acted outside of the spirit of the game to win the match.

Brendon McCullum Lecture

It happened when Sangakkara scored a magnificent 100 in the 2nd innings. Kumar reached his ton & Sri Lanka was nine down then.  The ball, still in the air, was being returned to McCullum and he seized the moment to take the bails off, as unsuspecting Murali had left the crease to congratulate his partner. It sparked a controversy. Brendon McCullum regretted his actions that day. The apology came after a decade and was also honored by the Lankans.

Brendon McCullum, on a very serious note, remarked about the off-field instances in the last 3 years of his career. Yes, it was about his alleged involvement in being approached for fixing matches in the IPL and in England. As we all know, he was never accused of the crime but was guilty of not reporting such approaches immediately. His ignorance was serious as on the receiving end of the accusation was former New Zealand Star – Chris Cairns. But his words were directed towards the mismanagement in the ICC for evidence gathering against such offenses in the game. Hopefully, the apex body of cricket is going to take it as seriously as he meant. Because this whole fiasco ended up at the mercy of Southwark Crown Court, London.

He righteously shared this personal experience to raise awareness about the issues prevalent amongst international cricketers. And at the same time, to instill the confidence of modern day cricketers in the governing authorities.

He commented that his career hasn’t been all ‘Beer & Skittles’. But I will leave you with his conclusive words of such an honest & remarkable speech.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have played the game for so long and to have had the experiences I have had. While I have earned more than a pie, a pint and a punt per day through being a professional cricketer, I have retired from first-class and international cricket without memories of aggregates, runs, wickets, catches or matches won.  Rather, I treasure the memories of playing with and against so many wonderful people – as my father did before me.


By: Shubhang Srivastava                                                                                                                           
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Shubhang Srivastava, born and brought up in Delhi, always wanted to become a traveler or something. But, he is currently working as a successful professional in the advertising industry. He loves lounging on his oversized bean bag, listening to Coldplay.  A complete movie buff, his knowledge can actually leave you amazed. He has an eye for detail and an unparalleled passion for Formula One, Cricket and Squash. When he’s not working, one can easily find him getting involved in some sports discussion episode with people around.

P.S.: He is a very nice guy. Trust us!