New Zealand have produced great players like Richard Hadlee, Martin Crowe and Stephen Fleming, but the Kiwis could not quite capture the imagination as a team consistently. Then came Brendon McCullum, who turned New Zealand into a team that is loved all over the world.
Under McCullum's stewardship, this New Zealand team reached the final of the ICC World Cup 2015, before going down to the unstoppable Australia.
McCullum played his last match for New Zealand in international cricket on Wednesday, with the Kiwis, again, losing to Australia in the second Test match. McCullum, though, has no regrets about his decision to retire.
"The time's right. And now I walk away comfortable with my decision and looking forward to the next stage of my life. I walk away comfortable with my decision. I think the team's at that stage as well. They're ready for a new leader and a slightly new direction," McCullum was quoted as saying by Stuff.co.nz.
"I'm probably a bit more old-school, and that will assist in being able to take the team to a more consistent level. If there's one criticism of us, we've probably been a little bit inconsistent with flashes of brilliance. The next stage for this team is to reach a high-performing level on a consistent basis.
"You guys have allowed me to live my dream over the last 14 years. I said I'll pay you back for the rest of my life, listen - I do mean that."
McCullum captained New Zealand for the last time on Wednesday. The Black Caps were handed a 2-0 Test series defeat by Australia, and that is not how McCullum would have wanted to say goodbye to international cricket. Of course he was disappointed with how the Test series went.
"It's not the ideal way to go out, but at the same time, I've had a great time," McCullum said.
McCullum will now feature in the upcoming IPL for the Gujarat Lions. Post that, he will fly to England to take part in the NatWest T20 Blast for Middlesex. Then, he will feature for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League and towards the end of the year, he will participate in the Big Bash League for the Brisbane Heat.
"You step into the next phase with an element of sadness for what you're leaving behind, but also a huge amount of excitement about what's in front is as well," McCullum signed off.