News: Along with a heart-breaking loss in front of the home crowd, the Brisbane Heat captain Brendon McCullum sounds pretty pleased with the team’s evolution which, he feels, will have a telling impact in the future.
Heat finished second in the semifinal clash against Sydney Sixers which eventually turned out to be one of the best-ever semis in the history of the Big Bash League. McCullum in the last ball of the Super Over over the long-on fence, and instantly kicked the turf in disappointment having had to cope with the loss despite of a commendable comeback from his side.
“It was pretty tense all right, we did well to get back into the game,” McCullum said on Wednesday (January 25). “Lesser teams would have lost that by five or six overs but the belief within the group meant we kept fighting hard. In the end it’s disappointing to run second but proud of the boys, not just tonight but for the whole campaign.”
McCullum was particularly impressed by how his side evolved during some tough games this season. “We have lost some close games, and a close semifinal. We can walk away saying we made some significant strides forward as a team, and the crowds that have turned up are testimony to that. It was an attractive brand of cricket which they have quite enjoyed. Some of those games you win and some you lose but I’m very proud of it – in a finals situation, behind the eight-ball, it’s a good sign that we are maturing quickly,” he said.
Briefing about the reasons on what attracted the Brisbane crowd, the former New Zealand skipper said, “We are a young team, one that doesn’t mind having a go, and isn’t scarred by too much experience, as can be the case. We want to go out there and play attacking cricket.”
He also spoke about key contributions from the men behind the scenes. “Dan (Vettori), Bondy (Shane Bond), myself, then senior players within the group and the management behind the scenes – we’re all trying to sing off the same song sheet.”
The 35-year-old also showered plaudits on Joe Burns and Ben Cutting. “He’s flying at the moment, Burnsy (Burns). He’s a leader in the group, so I’ll just keep throwing him the ball, try and get him in the game. Same with Cutts (Cutting) – throw him the ball for the Super Over, and then with the bat get him out there. Give your big players, your leaders ample opportunity, and then the young guys will come along for the ride.”Putting all that happened behind, McCullum concluded with a grin: “I suppose I should watch it the BBL final.”