Brendon McCullum has been appointed as the new England Test head coach. McCullum, who was a former New Zealand captain, was appointed on a four-year deal, and he would be one of the two coaches for the England men’s team. The second coaching position is still vacant, but it is expected that it would be filled in the coming days.
This is all part of cricket director Rob Key’s plan to split the coaching role into two, rather than one, as it was in the days of former director Ashley Giles and coach Chris Silverwood. Key said, “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.” According to the ECB, McCullum’s appointment was unanimous.
Coincidentally, McCullum’s first game as coach would be against New Zealand, a country he played for before retiring in 2019. He played 101 Test matches and 260 ODIs in a career that spans 14 years. In 2014, he became the first New Zealander to score triple hundred in a Test. He also made the fastest ever half-century (54) in his final game before retiring. Before his recent appointment, he was the head coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders and also the former coach of the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League.
McCullum would be in charge of a team that has not won just one of their last 17 Tests. Speaking on his appointment, he 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.” He, together with the new captain Ben Stokes, would try to stir the fate of the England Test team to see how well they can improve it.
Written by: Akinnifesi Olumide