By STEVE SPINKS
DESPITE being an Australian, Ellissa McCullum supports the New Zealand cricket team.
The fact that she was born and bred in Caniaba, near Lismore, does not come into it.
You see, Ellissa McCullum (nee Arthur) is married to Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum.
"I have to go for New Zealand," Ellissa told The Northern Star.
The 26-year-old former Lismore High and Southern Cross University student met her future husband while he was last on tour in Australia in 2002.
"He was playing in a VB series second final against South Africa in Sydney," Ellissa said.
"I went to watch and was just sitting in the members' stand with some friends from work right near New Zealand's dressing room.
"He was 12th man for the game and kept running up and down in front of us.
"At the end of the game we got chatting."
McCullum, 23, doesn't think meeting his future wife at a big cricket game was too big a deal.
"I guess you've got to meet somewhere," he chuckled.
McCullum left Australia two days later with the team, but a long-distance relationship developed with telephone calls every night.
Subsequent holidays to Australia and New Zealand followed and 18 months later the pair were married.
They now have a son Riley.
"I hadn't even been to New Zealand before I met Brendon," Ellissa said.
"It was quite a big move."