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January 27, 2009
Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand wicketkeeper, has termed his much-debated move to play Twenty20 for New South Wales as innovative and one that could add "tremendous value" to his domestic side, Otago. McCullum's hasty switch to New South Wales for the Australian domestic Twenty20 final was received with varied reactions, but McCullum has said people are entitled to their opinion and he is not offended.
"This is clearly new ground, and a sign of the changing landscape that is Twenty20 cricket globally," McCullum wrote in the Otago Daily Times. "There has been much discussion of my move, throughout Australia and New Zealand, and I'm sure that not everyone will agree on what's right or wrong in this instance. One thing is for sure: the game has changed over the past 12 to 18 months with the development of Twenty20 cricket, and the game will continue to change as we move forward."
McCullum said it was his responsibility to "enhance rather than diminish" the value of Otago cricket, although he did not clarify how his appearance for New South Wales would help Otago. "I will not try to defend my decision, as in my mind, the motives were sound, and I also believe people are entitled to their opinion, and the decision to take offence to criticism is always in the eye of the beholder."
In a confused radio interview last week, Andrew Symonds criticised McCullum's move, while Matthew Hayden said it was indicative of New Zealand's "disappointing" international schedule. McCullum has brushed off Symonds' jibe. "Andrew Symonds' much-publicised spray, although inappropriate, has not upset me, and I feel no animosity towards him for this," he said.
In the end McCullum only scored 10 off 11 balls in the final in Sydney - which NSW won by five wickets - but said it was a fantastic experience. "It was an amazing event and, with 20,000 people turning up, it once again showed how popular Twenty20 has become."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Graeme Smith was the last of South Africa's old guard. The roots of the new one need to grow deeper