Brendon McCullum said the inaugural Indian Premier League game "changed his life forever" as he recalled the magical 158 not out he scored 12 years ago. (More Cricket News)
McCullum lit up the opening match of the 2008 campaign as he inspired Kolkata Knight Riders to victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in a star-studded affair.
He struck 10 fours and 13 sixes in a 73-ball innings, his historic performance setting the IPL on the road to success.
Asked for his recollections of the match, McCullum told KKR's official website: "I never really got too nervous throughout my cricket career, but on that occasion, I'll admit I was very nervous. I think none of us really knew what this tournament was going to be like.
"We all loved the idea of it, we loved the fanfare, but all the eyeballs of the cricketing world got turned towards Bangalore that night. I feel so lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity [to be a part of that spectacle].
"You talk about sliding doors, and moments in your careers and in lives. That night, my life changed completely in the space of those three hours or actually, even an hour, hour and a half.
"Why was I the one who got that opportunity to be able to go and face [the] first [delivery] with Sourav Ganguly? How did I get a chance to play in the first game, have the first opportunity to bat in such a huge tournament for world cricket?
"How was I even able to grab that opportunity? How much luck did I have along the way? Honestly, I don't know the answers to any of these, but what I do know is that it changed my life forever.
"It changed my family's life forever, and I feel very blessed and very humble and very lucky. What I did that night was something I didn't think I was capable of achieving. I couldn't have done it without my team-mates, that's 100 per cent sure. It was just a surreal moment in time where you just look back and say, 'How lucky was I?'
"I was just a young kid back then, so I was so in awe of [co-owner and Bollywood star] Shah Rukh Khan who was such a mega star.
"I was so out of my depth even just around the superstars in my cricket team, let alone the megastar who owned our cricket team! I don't remember many reactions in detail, but what I do remember is what Sourav Ganguly said to me that night.
"Dada said, 'Your life is changed forever', and I didn't quite know what he meant at the time, but [in hindsight], I 100 per cent agree with him. Shah Rukh, in the months which followed or the days and the weeks and the months which followed, he said, 'You'll always be with the Knight Riders.'