Christchurch (New Zealand), Feb.25 (ANI): Nathan McCullum will join younger brother Brendon on the field for the first time in New Zealand colours at home when the Black Caps meet India in tonight's Twenty20 cricket international in Christchurch.
The Otago pair have played together at international level twice at the 2007 World Twenty20 Cup in South Africa and this month against Australia.
No spectators will be watching the match more intently than their Christchurch-based parents, Stu and Jan McCullum.
"It's a great thrill for us and we are hoping they do well," Stu McCullum, a former long-serving Otago representative, said yesterday.
It is the second time the couple have watched their sons of late after being shouted to Sydney when the brothers almost carried New Zealand to victory,
Brendon making 61 from 47 balls and Nathan 10 not out in four balls at the finish as New Zealand fell one short.
While Brendon has taken much of the cricketing spotlight with his dashing blade and athletic glove work, brother Nathan, who is a year older at 28, has earned a reputation of being a similarly attacking player with his brisk off-spinners, aggression with the bat and breath-taking fielding skills.
Both debuted in the 1999-2000 season.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said yesterday that although Nathan McCullum was inexperienced at international level, he would play tonight at AMI Stadium after his Sydney showing.
"He went well there and gets another opportunity but (it) will be a massive test for him against India."
Apart from being classy all-round cricketers, the duo have also been fine all-round sportsmen. Nathan played football to national league level for Caversham while Brendon was first five-eighth for King's High School and played inside All Black Dan Carter in a southern region schools selection.
McCullum said his boys had started playing on the street outside the family home in St Kilda, Dunedin.
"There was the odd broken window," said McCullum, who is still involved with the game coaching the Marist-Harewood premier grade men's team.
The McCullums have another cricket-watching appointment with their sons this weekend when they support the blue and golds against Canterbury in the Twenty20 domestic final in Dunedin on Sunday.
The McCullums are the 10th set of brothers to play for New Zealand.
They join the Hadlees (Richard, Barry and Dayle), the Crowes (Martin and Jeff), the Bracewells (Brendon and John), the Harts (Matthew and Robbie), the Hornes (Phil and Matt), the Webbs (Murray and Richard), the Howarths (Geoff and Hedley), the Parkers (John and Murray) and most recently the Marshall twins (Hamish and James). (ANI)