Brendon McCullum appointed new Test coach of England

Brendon McCullumThe former New Zealand captain, Ko has been confirmed by the ECB as the new England men’s Test head coach on a four-year deal.

McCullum, who will step down from his role as head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders at the end of the ongoing IPL, played 101 Tests for New Zealand between 2004 and 2016, with a highest score of 302 against India in 2014 at 38.64 at 6453 Scored runs. , which is the only triple century scored by a New Zealander.

Although he never captained the red-ball team in his coaching career, McCullum was New Zealand’s captain for 31 Tests from 2013 until his retirement, earning praise for a positive attitude, which was also instrumental in the white-ball team’s run. role was played. World Cup Final in 2015. In 2020, he also coached Trinbago Knight Riders to the Caribbean Premier League title.

Their exact arrival date in the UK is dependent on KKR’s qualification for the IPL play-offs, although with two group-stage games remaining – the last of which comes against Lucknow Super Giants on 18 May, they are an outsider to reach the competition. are condition. last four.

He is expected to join the team – which will be led by the newly appointed England captain – if work permits allow Ben Stokes – Ahead of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s from June 2, and will now also have an input at next week’s selection meeting.

Rob Key, England’s director of cricket for England, acknowledged that McCullum’s appointment was a well-intentioned gamble, adding that it was “time for all of us to gear up and get ready for the ride”, but to change team cultures for the better. Praised his proven ability to transform. – A feature desperately needed for England’s Test team after a tough 12 months in which they have won one of their last 17 Tests and sank to their lowest ICC rankings since 1995.

“I would like to say how delighted I am to have this opportunity to make a positive contribution to England’s Test cricket set-up and lead the team into a more successful era,” McCullum said in an ECB press release.

“In playing this role, I am well aware of the significant challenges the team currently faces, and I strongly believe that I have the ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force when we face them. have done.

“I have enjoyed many strong conversations with Rob Key about the direction of the journey for the team and found his enthusiasm infectious. I am no stranger to making a difference in the team environment, and I look forward to getting started. can’t.

“Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful entity around me.”

McCullum was initially selected for England’s white-ball coaching role, not least because of his close personal and professional relationship with the captain. Eoin Morgan – He was the master of ceremonies at Morgan’s wedding in 2018 and the pair led KKR to the IPL final last year.

However, once it became clear that he was interested in the Test job, McCullum emerged as the unanimous choice of the ECB selection panel, which included Key, CEO Tom Harrison, performance director Mo Bobat and Andrew Strauss, who served as a member of the board. Strategic Consultant. He stepped down from his interim MD role after Key’s appointment.

Notably, it was felt that his vision for the Test team was in alignment with that of new captain Stokes, who helped revive the team’s fortunes after he was unveiled last week as Joe Root’s successor. Called the “selfless” cricketers, who were dropped after a record 64 Tests in charge last month.

“We are pleased to confirm Brendan as England’s men’s Test head coach,” Key said. “It has been a real privilege to know him and understand his thoughts and approach to the game. I believe his appointment will be good for England’s Test team.

“He has a recent history of changing the cricket culture and environment for the better, and I believe he is the man to do the same for England’s red-ball cricket.

“We were incredibly fortunate to have a seriously strong list of quality candidates for this position, with Brendan demonstrating that he was our number one choice.

“I want to thank Tom Harrison and the ECB board for their support in this process. I believe in Brendan and Ben Stokes – a formidable coach and captain partnership. Time for all of us to gear up and get ready for the ride.” is.”

Knight Riders franchise CEO Venky Mysore joked that the ECB is taking on all successful KKR coaches, with Trevor Bayliss previously seen in the role of head coach from the IPL. Mysore, who appointed McCullum as the head coach of the two Knight Riders franchises in the IPL and CPL, said the former New Zealand captain’s biggest strength has been being transparent and positive.

“First of all he is a good person. It all starts with him,” said Mysore. “A national coaching role is a little different because you have so much more time to work with someone throughout the year. But it starts with being a good person and then being able to connect and build relationships with people. Earn their trust when you do and only when people are ready to listen to you.

“At its core, you have to be a trustworthy person that people like. It takes time. Then they’re open to hearing what they’re saying. That’s the key. It sounds easy but it’s such a hard thing to achieve.” Do. After all you have to have that core ability, to be transparent, to be honest, and to be able to build those relationships. And that’s his strength. He always has a very positive vibe about him.”

England’s white-ball team is not in action until a three-match ODI series against the Netherlands starting on 17 June, and so there is little need for England’s coaching to fill other vacancies.

Candidates for that role include Gary Kirsten – who was the front-runner for the Test role – along with Australia women’s coach Matthew Mott and Paul Collingwood, who took an interim coaching role for both the red and white-ball legs of the recent tour of England. played. of the Caribbean.

Andrew Miller is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

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