Brendon McCullum named England's Test head coach

Brendon McCullum
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Brendon McCullum

Highlights

  • McCullum will start with England next month
  • He is the current KKR head coach
  • The former NZ captain retired from international cricket in 2016

England have appointed Brendon McCullum as their men's Test head coach.

New Zealand legend McCullum, whose appointment is still subject to obtaining the necessary work visa, will begin his role with the English side with their next month's series against New Zealand, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday. Ben Stokes' side is scheduled to play three Tests against the World Test Championship's defending champions, starting from June 2 at Lord's.

The official release from ECB also stated that their selection panel of Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison, Managing Director of England's Men's Cricket Rob Key, Strategic Adviser Andrew Strauss, and Performance Director Mo Bobat collectively agreed that McCullum was an excellent candidate for the role, having impressed during the competitive interview process.

The former New Zealand skipper currently is the head coach of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He previously coached Trinbago Knight Riders to the 2020 Caribbean Premier League title.

The 40-year-old cricketer-turned coach is expected to arrive in the UK later this month. KKR have two matches left in their IPL group campaign, against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Saturday and their final game on May 18 against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). With 10 points from 12 games, KKR are currently placed seventh in the IPL 2022 table. Their chances of qualifying for the playoffs look bleak.

"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. 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. Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful unit around us," McCullum was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, ECB's CEO Rob Key expressed their delight to get McCullum on board as England's Test head coach. "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. He has a recent history of changing cricket culture and environments for the better, and I believe he is the person to do that for England's red-ball cricket.

"We were incredibly fortunate to have a seriously strong list of quality candidates for the post, with Brendon demonstrating he was our number one choice. I'd like to thank Tom Harrison and the ECB Board for their support in this process. I believe in Brendon and Ben Stokes - a formidable coach and captain partnership. Time for us all to buckle up and get ready for the ride."

McCullum represented the BlackCaps for 12 long years as he earned 101 Test caps, 260 One-Day International (ODIs), and 71 T20Is before calling it quits in 2016.

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