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‘Sportsperson of the Year award a boost for team’
Christchurch: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum decided to stay humble after receiving the country’s ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award and hoped that the honour would give his teammates a massive boost heading into their World Cup opener on Saturday.
“It’s really humbling but when you play a team sport individual accolades aren’t what you play for,” McCullum told reporters here on Thursday.
“But at the same time I’m respectful of the whole awards and all those other recipients of awards. This one is very much for the boys as well.”
McCullum, who received the award on Wednesday, was the first cricketer to win New Zealand’s Sportsman of the Year award since former captain Martin Crowe in 1991.
The 33-year-old McCullum was recognised for a superb 2014 when he became the first New Zealand player to score more than 1,000 Test runs in a calendar year and also notched the country’s first Test triple century.
McCullum’s 302 against India at the Basin Reserve in February 2014 was also voted by the public as New Zealand’s Sports Moment of the Year and he said the awards would only help his side before they face Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval on Saturday.
“For cricket to be in that spotlight is a good thing and right on the eve of the World Cup can only help the momentum the team’s built up,” he said.
“It was a really good performance, especially against a strong South African team.
“After them coming over here (in October) and dealing to us – I know it’s a warm-up game and it’s hard to replicate the intensity of a fully fledged international but for us I was really happy with the attitude we took into the game.
“We ticked the boxes with bat, ball and, more importantly, in the field which is a driver of our attitude.
“We maintained a really strong presence and intensity and all the guys were engaged. That’s a good sign. We go in with no excuses; we’ve had a great preparation and we’re ready to go.” (PTI)