Brendon McCullum says Test cricket has ‘big problems’ if England aren’t ‘strong and ‘watchable’ | Cricket News


Watch England take on New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am Thursday – Brendon McCullum says England are the only team capable of changing the ‘downward path’ of Test cricket, admits it will be ‘difficult’ to try and beat New Zealand after playing a huge role in their ascent

Last update: 06/01/22 5:57 p.m.

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New England Men’s Tests head coach Brendon McCullum hopes his side can help restore the popularity of red ball cricket

New England Men’s Tests head coach Brendon McCullum hopes his side can help restore the popularity of red ball cricket

Brendon McCullum wants England to revive Test cricket during his tenure as men’s head coach – claiming the world red ball game is in ‘big trouble’ if Ben Stokes’ side aren’t ‘competitive and watchable”.

McCullum takes over, with England having won just one of their previous 17 Test matches, slipping to sixth in the world rankings and tumbling to the bottom of the World Test Championship.

The former New Zealand captain said Sky Sports’ Michael Atherton England are the only team who can reverse what he calls the “slightly downward path” of longest form.

Brendon McCullum says Test cricket has 'big problems' if England aren't 'strong and 'watchable' | Cricket News Brendon McCullum says Test cricket has 'big problems' if England aren't 'strong and 'watchable' | Cricket News

England v New Zealand

June 2, 2022, 10:00 a.m.

Live of

McCullum’s first Test in charge is against his native New Zealand, the defending World Test champions, at Lord’s from Thursday, a match you can watch live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am.

Durham fast bowler Matthew Potts will make his Test debut, joining recalled James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the pace attack.

McCullum said: “Test cricket needs England to be strong, competitive and play a watchable style of cricket. Otherwise they are in deep trouble.

‘England can inspire the next generation of Test cricketers’

“I think Test cricket has been on a slightly downward trajectory and the only people who can really change that are England. The appreciation of Test cricket in this part of the world, history.

McCullum says Ben Stokes is the right man to captain England

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McCullum says Ben Stokes is the right man to captain England

McCullum says Ben Stokes is the right man to captain England

“They have a real opportunity to make meaningful change and hopefully inspire the next generation of cricketers to want to play Test cricket rather than T20 or shorter forms of the game.

“I worked my way through the short version of cricket, but Test cricket has always been the pinnacle for me, the pinnacle of the sport. I know how difficult it is.

“I was blessed to play for several years and go through the ups and downs. You come out the other end and always look back on it so fondly, even through all the downs you go through.”

Reflecting on his appointment, McCullum said: “It’s a good time to take over – a big challenge and a challenge I look forward to.

Stokes speaks to Sky Sports about Ollie Pope's move to No 3, what Matthew Potts will bring aside and the return of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson

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Stokes speaks to Sky Sports about Ollie Pope’s move to No 3, what Matthew Potts will bring aside and the return of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson

Stokes speaks to Sky Sports about Ollie Pope’s move to No 3, what Matthew Potts will bring aside and the return of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson

“There is quite a thirst for change in English cricket and players across the group look set to take a different direction.

“With Stokesy as captain you have someone at the forefront and we will try to mold it around his style. I think our personalities are quite similar in how we want to see the game played. “

“Facing ‘difficult’ New Zealand, but I have work to do”

McCullum says he will find elements of trying to beat New Zealand ‘difficult’ after playing a huge part in their rise as a cricketing nation, including guiding them to the Cricket World Cup final 2015.

The 40-year-old added: “It’s obviously unique that we face New Zealand first, a team that I know so well, not just tactically but personally.

“I’ve had a lot of involvement as a captain and more recently as a friend and a bit of a mentor to some of them. It’s going to be tough, no doubt, but I have a job to do. .

New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner says facing McCullum will be strange when they face England

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New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner says facing McCullum will be strange when they face England

New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner says facing McCullum will be strange when they face England

“This job is to give England the best opportunity to become the best team in the world. It won’t happen instantly, but there is a path we will try to follow. Trying to beat New Zealand is part of of this path.”

McCullum initially seemed favorites for the white ball coaching role once new England men’s cricket general manager Rob Key opted to split the positions.

The New Zealander and World Cup-winning white ball captain Eoin Morgan share a strong friendship, while his previous coaching experience was in limited overs cricket.

McCullum: Risky work, but I like big challenges

McCullum said: “The English white ball team are looking to go from good to great.

“My skills are probably a bit more suited to trying to get a team out of a tight spot and to plan something long term.

McCullum had been linked with England's white ball coaching role before being named Test chief

McCullum had been linked with England’s white ball coaching role before being named Test chief

“Job wasn’t on my radar until Rob [Key] phoned me.

“I’ve had a lot of variety in my life – working in the media, a bit of coaching in the IPL – but then I started thinking about the opportunity and it got exciting and appealing.

“It’s a risk for me but you have to take risks in life and I thought it was worth it.

“People would be a little surprised if a Cavalier T20 player took on the daunting task of coaching the England Test team, but people who know me know I like a big challenge.”

Watch the first Test between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am Thursday.




Sky Sports

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