Kiwi Brendon McCullum has today been confirmed as England’s next Test cricket coach.
England have been looking to fill the vacant Test head coach role since Chris Silverwood resigned following the humiliating 4-0 Ashes defeat at the hands of Australia.
McCullum will take charge of Ben Stokes’ side next month as a new era of English cricket gets underway against New Zealand.
“I believe in Brendon and Ben Stokes – a formidable coach and captain partnership. Time for us all to buckle up and get ready for the ride.”Rob Key, England men’s managing director
The Kiwi is currently the coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.
He hit the fastest century in Test cricket (54 balls) and finished his Test career with nearly 6,500 runs and 12 centuries.
England Test head coach McCullum said: “I’d like to say how pleased I am to be given this opportunity to positively contribute to England’s Test cricket set-up and move the team forward into a more successful era.
“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.”
England men’s managing director Rob 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.
“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.
“I believe in Brendon and Ben Stokes – a formidable coach and captain partnership. Time for us all to buckle up and get ready for the ride.”
England’s rebuild first began with the appointment of former county captain and pundit Rob Key as managing director before Ben Stokes was confirmed as Joe Root’s replacement as captain.
Since then, and in the weeks leading up to next month’s Test series with New Zealand, there had been multiple names in the picture to lead the England side’s coaching set up.
McCullum emerged as a frontrunner last night with interviews fore the vacant role taking place this week. It is believed the announcement could come as soon as the end of the week.
McCullum has county experience with Glamorgan, Sussex, Warwickshire and Middlesex and has also featured for various franchise teams.
His experience of the short-form game could go hand in hand with Ben Stokes’ desire to win quickly and hit the ground running.
England, under Joe Root, were on a dismal run of one win in 17 matches and the rebuild is hoped to see England lifted from the basement of the World Test Championship table.
McCullum would have to deal with the red tape that comes with the England job, mixing various opinions with those of selectors and the county game.
Key has previously stated that he’d rather have the best coach for 10 months of the year than someone else for 12, suggesting McCullum’s IPL deal could remain.