New Zealand cricketer: Brendon McCullum

BLACKCAPS captain Brendon McCullum batted his way into New Zealand cricket folklore at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.

Name: Brendon McCullum (Baz)

Born: 27 September 1981, Dunedin, South Island - New Zealand

Role: Middle-order batsman, New Zealand Cricket captain

Int Test Debut: 10 March 2004 against South Africa

Int ODI Debut: 17 January 2002 against Australia

IPL team: Chennai Super Kings

With the Cricket World Cup - one of the biggest sporting events in the world - set to be held across New Zealand and Australia in 2015, all eyes will be on New Zealand’s international cricket team - the BLACKCAPS.

The New Zealand BLACKCAPS have played a total of 10 Cricket World Cups and, although they have reached the semi-finals on an impressive six occasions, they are yet to clinch cricket’s ultimate prize.

Over the years, New Zealand has produced a raft of cricket players who have achieved international acclaim - but soon it will be time for the class of 2015 to show the rest of the world just what they are made of.

Batting into history books

BLACKCAPS captain Brendon McCullum has batted his way into New Zealand cricket folklore after amassing 302 runs in test cricket against India at Wellington’s Basin Reserve in 2014. The record gives Brendon McCullum bragging rights as he becomes the highest individual New Zealand scorer in a test match.

After an inspired performance against the visiting Indian international cricket team - which included a double century, followed by his triple - McCullum becomes just the third cricketer in history to achieve this accolade, along with former Australian cricket legend Don Bradman and Englishman Walter Hammond, both writing their names in the history books in the 1930s.

McCullum also surpasses former New Zealand cricket ace, Martin Crowe’s 299, made against Sri Lanka at the same historic cricket ground in 1991.

Rise to stalwart

The son of Stu McCullum, a former first-class cricket player for Otago, Brendon and his brother Nathan (a first-class provincial cricket player) were gifted their talents by their father.

After impressing at domestic level at the wicket and with the bat, the right hander began his rise to stalwart of New Zealand cricket after making his international test debut against South Africa 2004, aged 23.

Since then McCullum, nicknamed ‘Baz’ by his fellow teammates, has played an integral role in the development of New Zealand cricket on the international stage. His keen eye on the wicket, attacking prowess with the bat and fiery self-confidence saw him being handed the BLACKCAPS captaincy from Ross Taylor.

He is now at the helm of the New Zealand cricket team in three forms of the international game.

In 2013 a recurring injury forced McCullum to give up guarding the stumps, giving him time to focus his energy on his batsmanship.

McCullum’s reputation as a talented attacking batsman has seen the New Zealander grow to become a player who thrives in the T20 formant of the game, making him a crowd favourite in the Indian Premier League (IPL).