In a cul de sac close to the Parkside Hotel and a stone throw away from that famous rugby and cricket ground, Carisbrook, in Dunedin, Brendan, and his younger brother Nathan, lived their younger life. My brother and I lived not far away, and remember watching Brendan’s Dad, Stuart, playing for Otago at Carisbrook.
Had Brendan chosen another path, he may have ousted Dan Carter in the No. 10 All Black jersey as he was a talented rugby player. His school history gives an insight into his rugby playing talent in 1999. “The first win in Littlebourne for 24 years against Otago was achieved after future New Zealand cricket star and King’s High captain and first-five Brendon McCullum snatched an intercept and sprinted sixty meters to score a crucial try.”
As of 21 September 2012, McCullum simultaneously holds the record for the highest innings total in a Twenty20 International (123 for New Zealand against Bangladesh) and in a first-class equivalent Twenty20 match (158 not out for Kolkata Knight Riders against Bangalore Royal Challengers). He was the first and, as of that same date, only player to score two Twenty20 International centuries.
In 2003 he played in a Test series against England and scored what was then his highest score, an innings of 96 at Lord's. His maiden Test century came several months later when he scored 143 against Bangladesh. He fell just short of his second Test hundred in a game against Sri Lanka when dismissed one short of his hundred. His second century would later come with a run a ball 111 against Zimbabwe.
He was selected in the 20-man ICC World XI squad for the ICC Super Series in July 2005.
In March 2006, he was charged with bringing the game into disrepute during an ODI against West Indies, but was found not guilty.
On 20 February 2007, he scored 86 not out as New Zealand went on to be the first team to whitewash Australia in a 3 match ODI series since 1997. He struck a massive six off the first ball of the last over against Nathan Bracken to level the scores, before he finished it off with a boundary. In his matchwinning innings he partnered Craig McMillan to a world record equalling 6th wicket partnership of 165.
On 21 March 2007, he set a new World Cup record, by smashing 50 runs from just 20 balls against Canada in St Lucia. He finished his innings with 52 runs from 21 balls, including 10 fours and 5 sixes, with a strike rate of 247.61. The previous record had been set by Mark Boucher (South Africa) against The Netherlands on 16 March (50 runs from 21 balls).
On 14 December 2007 he scored 96 against Australia. He was caught by Nathan Bracken off the bowling of Brad Hogg after 35.3 overs.
On 31 December 2007 he scored 50 from just 19 balls against Bangladesh. He finished his innings with 80 runs from only 28 balls, including 9 fours and 6 sixes with a strike rate of 285.71 resulting in a 10 wicket win: chasing 93 from 50 overs and achieving it making 95 from only 6 overs.
On 12 February 2008 he scored 50 from 27 balls against England. He finished his innings with 80 runs from only 47 balls, including 8 fours and 5 sixes with a strike rate of 170.21 resulting in a 10 wicket win and giving New Zealand a 2 nil lead in the 5 match series.
On 18 April 2008, he claimed the record for highest individual score in a Twenty20 innings, scoring 158* from only 73 balls, which included 13 sixes and 10 fours in boundaries, for the Kolkata Knight Riders against Bangalore Royal Challengers in the first game of the Indian Premier League helping them get a much deserved 140 run victory.This eclipsed the previous record mark of 141, held by Australian Cameron White, McCullum faced an over White bowled in that match and smashed him for 24, it was White's only over in that match.In the same match he also claimed the record for most sixes in a Twenty20 innings, the most sixes in an individual Twenty20 innings has since been surpassedby Englishman Graham Napier.
On 1 July 2008, he scored his maiden ODI century, eventually getting dismissed for 166 against Ireland. He shared in a 266 run opening stand with James Marshall, which is the highest ODI partnership for any wicket in Black Caps history and the second highest opening partnership in all ODIs
On 5 April 2009, on day three of the third Test match during India's tour of New Zealand, he displayed an amazing level of alertness in the dismissal of Rahul Dravid. Dravid attempted a sweep shot off Daniel Vettori's bowling, but McCullum saw what Dravid was up to before the ball had even pitched and moved swiftly to his left (Dravid's leg side). Ross Taylor at first slip did the same. The ball came nicely off Dravid's bat, but flew straight into the hands of a waiting Brendon McCullum.A couple of balls earlier, McCullum tried the same thing, but he had been a little slow and Dravid's sweep was kept low. Although there has been some discussion regarding the legality of McCullum's movement before the ball had even pitched, the laws of cricket indicate he was well within his right to do so.
On 6 November 2009, vs Pakistan at Abu Dhabi, McCullum scored his second ODI century (131, 129 balls, 14 4's, 3 6's) to elevate New Zealand to 303 and win the match to level the series.
On 16 February 2010, during the only Test match against Bangladesh, he scored 185, the highest score ever by a New Zealand wicket-keeper in Test cricket. He was also involved in the record highest sixth-wicket partnership for New Zealand of 339 runs with Martin Guptill, missing out on the world record by just 12 runs.
On 27 February 2010, becomes just the second player to score a T20I hundred, finishing 116 not out, one run short of Chris Gayle's record of 117.
On 4 May 2010 McCullum became the first player to score 1000 T20 international runs. He achieved this feat playing against Zimbabwe in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 at Guyana On 28 June 2010, Brendon McCullum said he will not keep wicket for New Zealand in Test matches. He, however informed that he will still keep in 50-overs & T20 over games.This meant that McCullum would have to cement his place in the test team as a batsman. He did a fine job in his first innings since handing over the Wicket-keeping duties he scored 65 runs and was engaged in a 104 run partnership with Ross Taylor he was promoted to the position of opener in tests rather than his usual number 5 position. McCullum did however have experience of opening the innings because he opens for New Zealand in limited-overs cricket
McCullum is married to Ellissa McCullum (née Arthur), an Australian from Caniaba, New South Wales. They have a son Riley and a daughter Maya.