Martedì, 23 Febbraio 2016 10:09

<div>Sport24.co.za | Time's right, says departing McCullum</div>

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Christchurch - New Zealand captain BrendonMcCullum insisted the time was right to quit international cricket on Wednesdaydespite hitting one of his best innings just days earlier.

It was not the way the

34-year-old wantedto retire, as Australia completed a 2-0 series sweep by winning the second Testby seven wickets.

But McCullum did mark his swansong intrademark fashion, setting records for the fastest century and most sixes inTest history (107).

When the match ended, with an Adam Vogesfour getting Australia to the 201 they needed for victory, there were emotionalscenes as McCullum led his side from Christchurch's tree-lined Hagley Oval.

Australian captain Steve Smith, not out 53,ran over to shake McCullum's hand.

When New Zealand had needed patience tooccupy the crease for long periods of time to save the Test, McCullum could nothold back his natural aggression.

He smashed a first innings 145 in 79 balls,including the first ever 54-ball century, and 25 off 27 in his second bat.

But despite his own heroics, what matteredmost for McCullum was the result and it did not turn out as wanted in his 101stand final Test.

"It's not the ideal way to go out butat the same time, I've had a great time," he said. "We're obviouslydisappointed to lose the Test match and the series but the right teamwon."

As he shut down his international careerthere were no tears from McCullum, although he was moved by a guard of honourby the Australians.

McCullum has been sidelined by a backinjury in recent weeks and he said he knew it was "time to move on".

"The time's right. I came to thatrealisation when I made the decision and I knew I could steel myself foranother couple of challenges," he said.

"Hopefully I've left and brought somefun and enjoyment and some real culture back into the set-up in the time thatI've had as captain.

"When someone's career winds down,other cricketers want to show their respects in some way as well. You neverforesee that level of respect that Steve Smith and the Australian team showedwith that guard of honour would ever eventuate."

Reflecting on his career, McCullum said henow felt relieved it was all over.

"What comes with the good times alsocomes with its challenges. You walk away knowing that you've been able to frontup and try to go out there and get a performance on the board and I guess nowyou're a little bit relieved," he said.

He said he hoped to be remembered "asa guy who played for the right reasons and who, if in doubt, was prepared totake the positive option.

"Hopefully, the guys that I've playedwith will remember you as a good bloke as well."

McCullum finished his Test career with6 453 runs at an average 38.64. He scored 12 centuries and 31 half-centuries.

His swashbuckling style has producedmultiple records. He is the only New Zealander to score a triple century, with302 against India two years ago.

He also holds the record for the mostconsecutive Tests, never missing a game since his career began in 2004, and heis New Zealand's second most successful captain with a winning percentage of35.48, behind Geoff Howarth's 36.66.

In Twenty20 internationals, where his bighitting was welcomed, he holds world records for the most runs (2,140), mostcenturies (two), most 50s (15), most sixes (91) and most fours (199).

He scored his fastest ODI 50 in 18 ballsand has hit four ODI 50s in 20 balls or less, second only to Pakistan's ShahidAfridi who achieved the feat six times.

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