McCullum becomes England Tests coach




Brendon McCullum has been named the new head coach of the England Test team, with director of men’s cricket Rob Key telling fans to “buckle up and get ready to race”.

The former New Zealand captain will leave his role as manager of the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders to take over a red ball team that fell to bottom in the World Test Championship after a terrible one-win streak in 17 games.

Leading the revival is a daunting task for 40-year-old McCullum, who has never been a first-class or Test-level coach but is recognized as one of the most progressive thinkers and dynamic leaders in sport .

As a skipper, he set his own country on the path to its current golden age, which has seen it finish second in each of the last two World Cups and also win the inaugural Test World Championship.

McCullum won over the England and Wales Cricket Board selection panel with his passionate approach.

He saw a strong field to earn what is supposed to be a four-year contract, edging out Gary Kirsten, whose credentials with South Africa and India had once made him favorites to land the job.

(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Key, who led the appointments process alongside ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, strategic adviser Sir Andrew Strauss and chief performance officer Mo Bobat, is excited about the prospect of McCullum joining the new test skipper Ben Stokes.

“We are delighted to confirm Brendon as England Men’s Tests head coach. It has been a real privilege to know him and understand his perspective and vision for the game,” he said.

“I believe in Brendon and Ben Stokes – a great partnership of coach and captain.

“Time for all of us to buckle up and get ready for the ride. I think his appointment will be good for the England Test team.

“He has a recent history of changing cricketing culture and environments for the better, and I think he is the person to do that for England red ball cricket.

“We’ve been incredibly lucky to have a very strong roster of quality candidates for the job, with Brendon proving to be our number one choice.”

McCullum, who won 101 Test caps and retired from international cricket in 2016, has made it clear he has strong feelings about how to get the team out of their current malaise.

“In taking on this role, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team is currently facing, and I firmly believe in my ability to help the team become a stronger force once we have faced them head-on,” did he declare. .

“I had several solid conversations with Rob Key about the direction of travel for the team and found his enthusiasm to be infectious.

“I’m used to making changes within a team 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 unity around us.”

Pending visa approvals, McCullum will arrive in the UK in time to conduct a three-test series against his home country next month.

England are still in the hunt for a white ball head coach, with in-house candidate Paul Collingwood being strongly tipped among another pool of candidates.

© AAP




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