ECB on Thursday has officially appointed former New Zealand Captain, Brendon McCullum as England’s New Test Head Coach on a four-year deal. Though Mccullum has never coached a red-ball team he has earned appreciation for taking New Zealand’s test team to laurels of success as their Captain.
He has captained New Zealand’s Test team in 31 tests from 2013 until his retirement. During his captaincy stint, McCullum earned praise due to his positive approach which was also instrumental in the white-ball team’s run to the World Cup final in 2015. McCullum has played 101 Test matches for New Zealand between 2004 and 2016, scoring 6453 runs at 38.64 with the highest score of 302 against India in 2014, which remains the only triple-century made by a New Zealander.
Brendon McCullum who is also the Head Coach of the KKR team will step down from the role at the end of IPL 2022. However, His exact arrival date in the UK is dependent on KKR’s qualification for the IPL play-offs. McCullum has also coached KKR’s CPL franchise Trinbago Knight Riders to the CPL title win in 2020.
After receiving a Work permit, McCullum will link up with England’s Test team which will be led by England’s newly-appointed captain Ben Stokes – ahead of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, starting June 2. He will also have an active involvement in England’s Test team’s selection meeting next week.
England’s Director of Cricket, Rob Key acknowledged that McCullum’s appointment was a calculated gamble, adding that it was “time for us all to buckle up and get ready for the ride”, but praised his proven ability to change team cultures for the better – an attribute sorely needed after a grim 12 months for England’s Test team, in which they have won one of their last 17 Tests and sunk to their lowest ICC ranking since 1995.
“I’d like to say how pleased I am to be given this opportunity to positively contribute to England’s Test cricket set-up and move the team forward into a more successful era,” McCullum said in an ECB press release.
“In taking this role on, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces at present, and I strongly believe in my ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force once we’ve confronted them head-on.
“I’ve enjoyed several robust conversations with Rob Key about the direction of travel for the team and have found his enthusiasm contagious. I’m no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment, and I can’t wait to get started”, McCullum added to his statement.
Earlier Rob Key was considering McCullum for the role of England’s white-ball team coach. But once it became clear he was interested in the Test job, McCullum became the ultimate choice of the ECB selection panel comprising Key, CEO Tom Harrison, performance director Mo Bobat, and strategic advisor, Andrew Strauss.
“We are delighted to confirm Brendon as England Men’s Test head coach,” Key said. “It has been a real privilege to get to know him and understand his views and vision for the game. I believe his appointment will be good for England’s Test team”.
The candidates considered for England’s white-ball team coach includes Gary Kristen who had been among the frontrunners for the Test role – alongside the Australia women’s coach Matthew Mott and Paul Collingwood, who coached England’s white & red ball teams on an interim basis during their Caribbean tour.