On this day 12 yrs ago, Brendon McCullum gave a glorifying start to IPL

File photo: Chennai Super Kings' opener Brendon McCullum celebrates his century during their IPL-2015 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at MAC Stadium in Chennai
On April 18, 2008, a global phenomenon first came into light and went on to cement India's stature as a powerhouse in the game of cricket. It was the day when the first-ever match of Indian Premier League was played, and it was a battle between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru that kicked-off the inaugural edition of world’s richest cricket extravaganza.

 

Wicketkeeper batsman McCullum recalled the night when 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 KKR’s official website.

 

"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.

 

How the match turned out to be a one-sided affair

 

RCB won the toss and elected to bowl first. Little did they know, that a Kiwi batsman will take them to the cleaners.

 

Put into bat, KKR got off to a flying start as openers Brendon McCullum and Sourav Ganguly put on 61 runs in just 5.2 overs. Ganguly (10) was sent back to the pavilion by Zaheer Khan, but McCullum continued to march on.

 

Hammering the bowlers to all round the park, McCullum spared no mercy on the opposition and as a result, he brought up his century in the 16th over of the innings.

 

As soon as brought up the feat, KKR owner Shah Rukh Khan gave him a standing ovation.

 

McCullum however did not get bogged down and in the final four overs, he added 56 runs more to take his individual score to 158.

 

With this knock, KKR posted a mammoth score of 222/3 in the allotted twenty overs.

 

KKR then had no difficulty in defending the score as the side bundled out RCB for just 82 runs, winning the match by 140 runs.

 

Ajit Agarkar was the pick of KKR bowlers as he returned with the figures of 3-25.

 

This match gave a glorifying start to the competition as no one had known what the tournament had to offer before its start.

 

It was the first time that players were auctioned to take part in the competition, but in the end, this match settled all the myths and gave everyone satisfaction that it is indeed about the cricket.

 

In the inaugural edition, KKR did not manage to reach the semi-finals, and it was Rajasthan Royals who managed to win the tournament.

 

Till date, 12 editions of the tournament have been played with Mumbai Indians winning it for four times.

 

Chennai Super Kings has won it thrice while KKR has managed to take the title twice.

 

The latest edition of the tournament was slated to start from March 29 this year, but it has now been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus.



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