Brendon McCullum has ben appointed the new head coach of the England men’s Test cricket team.
The 40-year-old will take charge for England’s three-match test series against New Zealand, beginning on June 2022.
McCullum will link up with captain Ben Stokes and hisw team following the conclusion of the Indian Premier League season, where he is currently head coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, who play their final group stage game on May 18.
Following McCullum’s appointment, the new managing director of England men’s cricket, Rob Key, has 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.
“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’s appointment as the new head coach came as a surprise, with many believing he would have been better suited to the white-ball position as he has coached exclusively in shorter forms of the game since ending his playing career.
So who is Brendon McCullum and how has his career looked so far?
Who is Brendon McCullum?
McCullum is a New Zealand cricket coach, commentator and former cricketer, moving into coaching only three years ago.
He was renowned for his quick scoring and is considered one of the most successful batsmen and captains of New Zealand cricket.
McCullum is the former leading run scorer in T20I cricket and is the first and so far the only one of the two Kiwi players to have scored two T20I centuries and 2000 runs in T20I, alongside from Martin Guptill.
Following a brilliant career that saw him break plenty of records, McCullum retired in 2019 and quickly moved into coaching.
Ten days after he had announced his retirement from cricket, McCullum was unveiled as head coach of both Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, replacing Simon Katich and Jacques Kallis respectively.
Trinbago finished fourth in the group stage in CPL 2019 following back-to-back title-winning seasons. They beat St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the eliminator but failed to claim the victory against Barbados Tridents in the second qualifier, thus finishing third overall.
The TKR side won all 12 of their games in CPL 2020, including an eight-wicket win against St Lucia Zouks in the final.
McCullum replaced Dinesh Karthik as KKR captain with his close friend, Eoin Morgan, midway through the group stages but the team missed out on the playoffs.
McCullum missed the CPL because of ‘personal reasons and Covid-related travel restrictions’ and was replaced by Imran Jan as Trinbago’s head coach.
McCullum continued as head coach of the KKR side and lead the team to the IPL final, however they were beaten by the Chennai Super Kings.
McCullum emerged as a candidate for one of the vacant England coaching roles with KKR struggling in IPL 2022 - winning five of their first 12 games.
The 40-year-ols was appointed head coach on 12 May 2022.
What has McCullum said about Ben Stokes?
McCullum will be tasked with working alongside newly-appointed test captain Ben Stokes, with Key describing the pairing as a ‘formidable coach and captain partnership’.
McCullum 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.
“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.”