Dunedin honours a favourite cricketing son

Brendon McCullum - a favourite son of the city that he was born in - has been honoured with a place on Dunedin’s map.

Brendon McCullum - a favourite son of the city that he was born in - has been honoured with a place on Dunedin’s map.

Cricket World Cup fans on the trail to games at Dunedin’s famous University Oval will travel along Brendon McCullum Drive – usually known as Logan Park Drive – which is now sporting a couple of fresh new road signs and a chance of a photo opportunity.

It’s a temporary honour, bestowed by the Dunedin City Council, for the duration of the Cricket World Cup (14 February to 29 March 2015) but one that many locals would like to see as a permanent honour.

The New Zealand BLACKCAPS captain – named New Zealand Sportsman of the Year in 2014 - comes from one of Dunedin’s most prominent sporting families.

His father Stu McCullum played first-class cricket for Otago, uncle Grant McCullum was a wicketkeeper who found his way to the Otago side blocked by Warren Lees, and his brother Nathan McCullum is a teammate at domestic and national level.

McCullum could easily have been an All Black instead. He played first five-eighth for King's High School in Dunedin, and once kept Dan Carter out of the South Island secondary schools' team.

Last year, after McCullum batted his way into New Zealand cricket folklore with 302 runs in test cricket against India at Wellington’s Basin Reserve – making him the highest individual New Zealand scorer in a test match – he recalled the atmosphere with typical southern reserve.

"I've never experienced anything like that before - that's something I'll hold on to for the rest of my life."

Not that he let emotion get the better of him: "Nah, no tear in the eye. I'm from south Dunedin."

Dunedin City Councillor Hilary Calvert, who campaigned for the renaming and wants it to become a permanent fixture, describes McCullum as “a role model”.

The name fulfilled most of the city naming criteria, except that most roads were named after people who had died.

'In this case, it is very important that we do it sooner rather than later, because young men need more role models,' Calvert told the Otago Daily Times. 'Brendon is a particularly good example, because to achieve what he has in cricket you have just got to keep on keeping on.'

The New Zealand Cricket Museum in Wellington has requested one of the signs after the Cricket World Cup and the council is considering printing extra signs for Dunedin cricket fans to buy.

ICC Cricket World Cup games in Dunedin

  • Tuesday, 17 Feb - Scotland v New Zealand
  • Sunday, 22 Feb - Sri Lanka v Afghanistan
  • Thursday, 26 Feb - Afghanistan v Scotland