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Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders Head Coach, Gets England's Test Team Top Job

Brendon McCullum’s first assignment will be to prepare the England team for a three-match Test series in June at home against New Zealand.

For New Zealand, Brendon McCullum has played 101 Tests scoring 6453 runs.
For New Zealand, Brendon McCullum has played 101 Tests scoring 6453 runs. IPL

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has been confirmed as the new head coach of England’s Test team on Thursday. He replaced Chris Silverwood. McCullum is currently in Mumbai coaching Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2022.

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It was earlier reported that McCullum had agreed to the job in principle after talks with England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) new managing director Rob Key over the last few days. A formal announcement will be made soon.

It is believed ECB had interviewed several candidates for both England’s white and red-ball head coaching positions recently after Key’s decisions to split the roles. Former South Africa and India’s 2011 World Cup-winning head coach Gary Kirsten is also one of the contenders.

Following his retirement from the game in 2019, McCullum’s coaching experience has exclusively been in white-ball cricket. But he was a key member of the leadership group that helped New Zealand’s revival as a Test side from 2012 to 2016 with coach Mike Hesson.

In his short coaching career, McCullum won the Caribbean Premier League title with Trinbago Knight Riders in 2022 and also led KKR to the final of IPL last year in Dubai. Key also informed that he sought opinions on the Test side from Eoin Morgan, who is good friend of McCullum and was also KKR captain last year.

“I've spoken to Eoin about red-ball cricket as well,” Key said. “I asked his opinion. You want good people with good brains around you to work stuff out, so Eoin Morgan is someone I would speak to about so many different things.”

With Ben Stokes replacing Joe Root as the new England captain, it would be interesting to see how the Stokes-McCullum combination works for England. Under Root, England were thrashed by Australia in the Ashes that concluded earlier this year.    

The 40-year-old’s first assignment will be to prepare the England team for a three-match Test series in June at home against the side has represented during his playing days.  

For New Zealand, McCullum has played 101 Tests scoring 6453 runs including 12 centuries and 31 fifties. In 260 ODIs, McCullum has scored 6083 and in 71 T20s, he scored 2140 runs.

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