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McCullum, Vettori farewell Heat

Departing New Zealander Brendon McCullum looked unfazed as his teammates' power hitting kept Brisbane Heat's BBL season alive.

McCullum, Vettori farewell Heat

Departing New Zealander Brendon McCullum looked unfazed as his teammates' power hitting kept Brisbane Heat's BBL season alive.

BRENDON MCCULLUM of the Heat bats during the Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Hobart Hurricanes at The Gabba in Brisbane, Australia.
BRENDON MCCULLUM of the Heat bats during the Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Hobart Hurricanes at The Gabba in Brisbane, Australia. Picture:Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

If that was the last glimpse of Brendon McCullum in a Brisbane Heat shirt then what a way to go out.

McCullum had the pads on in the Heats' final home of the season at the Gabba but didn't face a ball as teammates Ben Cutting and Max Bryant pulverised the Melbourne Stars to keep alive the race for the BBL top four.


The former New Zealand captain didn't seem bothered by his batting redundancy, celebrating on the boundary by downing a cold beer in a fitting farewell for the departing star.

"He'll be missed," quipped commentator and former Australian coach Darren Lehmann.

The 37-year-old was a little coy about what his future holds - he has been mentioned as a coaching option for the Heat - but he will not be forgotten in a hurry.

The odds of that happening shortened on Saturday with Daniel Vettori announcing he'd decided not to renew his contract for next year.

The former New Zealand skipper took on the role of the club's first stand-alone coach in 2015. He'd already informed management earlier in the tournament.

Meanwhile, McCullum's blazing style, and his partnership with Chris Lynn, might have been treasured in Brisbane, but he said the feeling was mutual on Friday night.

"It's been 17 years, not everything's been easy but it's been a great ride," he told broadcaster Fox Sports.

"Playing here has meant a tremendous amount. Brisbane's been an extension of my New Zealand career."

The Heat have done all they can in their desperate bid to reach the finals and must now wait on the outcome of other games over the weekend.

They now need the Hobart Hurricanes to beat the Sydney Thunder and the Stars to lose to the Sydney Sixers.

Crushing the Stars in the 10th over gave the Heat's net run rate a welcome boost but McCullum said finishing early wasn't the team's goal.

"We didn't discuss it. We just wanted to enjoy the occasion," he said.

On any other night, McCullum and Chris Lynn staying in the dugout would have been depressing.

But 21,391 spectators roared joyously as Cutting and Bryant went to work. The Heats openers combined for the biggest powerplay (94 runs) in BBL history and Cutting's 17-ball half century was the second-fastest in the BBL.

He finished on 81 off 30909 balls while Bryant (71 off 30) was almost as savage.

"They were outstanding. They played with total freedom," McCullum said.

"They took to the seamers and they took to the spinners. They looked to the long and the short boundary."

AAP


AAP




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