Sports

England, Brendon McCullum, men’s Test coach, contract, deal, Ben Stokes


England has landed on a former New Zealand captain in its search for a new men’s Test coach, revealing Brendon McCullum as the man for the job on a four-year deal.

The replacement for Chris Silverwood, who exited in the wake of England’s disastrous Ashes tour, will lead the Poms for the first time in a three-Test series against New Zealand, set to begin at Lord’s on June 2.

McCullum is coaching the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, and coached the Trinbago Knight Riders to the 2020 Caribbean Premier League title.

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He had previously played 101 Tests, 260 one-dayers and 71 T20s for New Zealand, posting more than 14,000 international runs as one of the most destructive batters in world cricket.

He captained New Zealand from 2012 until his international retirement in 2016.

The McCullum announcement comes about a fortnight after Ben Stokes was revealed as Joe Root’s successor as captain, while it also follows the appointment of Rob Key to managing director.

“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 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.”

Key said McCullum was the “No.1 choice” in “a seriously strong list of quality candidates”.

“We are delighted to confirm Brendon as England men’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,” Key said.

“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.”

England is ranked sixth in men’s Test cricket, behind Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan.

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