For a brief moment on December 1, former New Zealand player Nathan McCullum, the brother of former Blackcaps captain Brendon McCullum, was announced dead on social media. A cricket page titled ‘New Zealand Cricket FanHub’ announced the news on their Facebook handle and it spread like wildfire, prompting anxious calls from friends of the all-rounder. However, Nathan brushed the rumours by posting an update on his Twitter handle where he was celebrating with his friends. It read, “I am alive and kicking more than ever before. Not sure where this news has come from but this is fake. Love you all.”
I am alive and kicking more than ever before. Not sure where this news has come from but this is fake. Love you all. pic.twitter.com/WZ1nuX4LUo— Nathan McCullum (@MccullumNathan) December 1, 2018
The cricket page had said, “Nathan Leslie McCullum (born September 1, 1980) is a former New Zealand international cricketer, who represented New Zealand in Twenty20 international and One Day Internationals. This evening, his wife Vannessa announced that he had passed away. RIP NATHAN.” For a brief moment, even the Wikipedia page of the player was updated with the announcement that Nathan had died.
Still alive and kicking. 😂😂😂What a crazy night!! Thanks for all the messages. Just did the first pitch at @AucklandTuatara baseball game awesome fun. Might ha e to try baseball now! pic.twitter.com/aYjxlP9EN4— Nathan McCullum (@MccullumNathan) December 2, 2018
The news did not go down well with Brendon, who posted an angry update on his Twitter handle. Brendon, currently playing for the Rajputs team in the T10 League, said, “Tonight someone decided, via social media to release that my brother passed away! I am on a flight back to NZ and my heart broke! None of it is true! Whoever put this out there, I’ll find you! Somewhere, somehow.”
Tonight someone decided, via social media to release that my brother passed away! Im on a flight back to NZ and my heart broke! None of it is true! Whoever put this out there, I’ll find you! Somewhere, somehow.— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) December 1, 2018
Following all the uproar, Nathan posted one more update where he was seen throwing the first pitch for the Tuatara's final game of their Australian Baseball League series against Canberra at McLeod Park in West Auckland.
McCullum brothers and their contribution to New Zealand
Nathan announced his retirement from international cricket at the end of the 2015 season. The 38-year-old has played 84 One-Day Internationals and 61 Twenty20 internationals for his country, having made his debut in 2007.
On the other hand, his brother Brendon has created several records for New Zealand. He is the only cricketer to play 100 consecutive Tests and holds the record for the fastest century in Tests, which he achieved off 54 balls against Australia in Christchurch in 2016. Brendon is the only New Zealand player to hit a triple century in Tests and he achieved this milestone against India at the Basin Reserve in 2014. The younger McCullum almost led New Zealand to glory in the 2015 World Cup but they lost the final to Australia at the MCG.