Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum named England Test head coach

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has been appointed head coach of England’s test team, the country’s cricket board said on Thursday.

McCullum replaced Chris Silverwood who left the role in February after England was thrashed 4-0 in the Ashes in Australia.

Paul Collingwood stepped in as a caretaker coach.

McCullum, 40, is currently in charge of Indian Premier League Twenty20 side Kolkata Knight Riders.

But the England and Wales Cricket Board said he would be in place to start his role when New Zealand visited for a three-test series starting at Lord’s on June 2.

“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,” board managing director Rob Key said in a statement.

“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.

“We were incredibly fortunate to have a seriously strong list of quality candidates for the post, with Brendon demonstrating he was our number one choice.”

McCullum retired from Test cricket in 2016 before moving into club coaching in India.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Former South Africa and India head coach Gary Kirsten had been linked with the role, while Collingwood was also considered.

McCullum played the last of his 101 tests at Christchurch in 2016 against Australia, where he hit the fastest ever century in the format (54 balls).

He finished his career with 6,453 runs including 12 hundreds and 31 half-centuries.

He will be tasked with working alongside newly-appointed test captain Ben Stokes to get England out of a slump after the team won only one of their last 17 matches.

Key described the pairing as a “formidable coach and captain partnership”.

McCullum said he understood the job ahead.

“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.”

Former England captain Michael Atherton said McCullum was a “very bold and imaginative choice” by managing director Key.

Reference-www.abc.net.au

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