The farewell party for Brendon McCullum begins in earnest with the first ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Christchurch, the Kiwi skipper's home and venue of what will be his last international match in February, next year.
McCullum dropped the surprising news of his retirement on Tuesday, revealing he will call it a day after the Australia Test series early next year. That means the fans in New Zealand and the rest of the world only have a handful of games to savour the big-hitting batsman's talents in the international game.
"I think there's something pretty romantic about finishing playing cricket in front of New Zealand crowds and in New Zealand grounds," McCullum said after announcing his retirement. "Also we'll be playing in Christchurch and Wellington -- two of the most amazing grounds.
"The Basin Reserve has the history and means a lot to New Zealanders. And Christchurch is now my established home. There's a little bit of romance there.
"That was certainly the focus for me. I can steel myself for another couple of battles -- ones which I look forward to."
The first of those opportunities to watch McCullum in New Zealand colours will come in the opening of the five ODI matches against Sri Lanka on Boxing Day.
New Zealand are on a high after outclassing Sri Lanka in the Test match series, winning it 2-0. Kane Williamson, who will take over the captaincy reigns from McCullum, was the star of that series, and the batsman will again look to make an impact.
New Zealand have rested a few of their marquee bowlers for the first few matches of this series, with Trent Boult and Tim Southee given time off to recharge their batteries ahead of more intense battles.
Sri Lanka have a lot of work to do if they are to seriously compete against this New Zealand side, who are, arguably, even more dangerous in the ODI format. The Kiwis were unstoppable at home in the World Cup earlier this year, and there is nothing to suggest that is going to change going into this ODI series.
Where to Watch Live
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI is scheduled for an 11 am local time (3.30 am IST, 10 pm GMT) start with no live TV coverage of the match in India.
Ten Sports is the place to be to watch the match live in Sri Lanka, while Sky Sport will broadcast the opening ODI in New Zealand. The live streaming option is on Sky Go NZ.
Sky Sports is also the channel which will broadcast the 1st ODI in the UK and Ireland, while the match can also be live streamed on Sky Go.
Viewers in the US can catch all the cricket action live on Willow TV, with the live stream option on Willow TV Online. Fox Sports will show New Zealand vs Sri Lanka live in Australia.