Brendon McCullum has been appointed England Test coach, within New Zealand legend tasked with turning around a side that is bottom of the World Test Championship
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New England Test coach Brendon McCullum has warned that Test cricket could die if he is unable to get the side “challenging the best teams in the world and playing a brand of cricket which appeals to the next generation of talent”.
McCullum has been tasked with turning around a side that has won just one of their last 17 Test matches and the former New Zealand captain is relishing the challenge. And he is looking to get England playing “an attractive brand of cricket”, warning that Test cricket needs it if the game is to “not just sustain but also thrive”.
In an interview with the ECB, McCullum said: “Test cricket has always been the pinnacle for me, it really has. I think the popularity of Test cricket has somewhat trended south of late.
“So if Test cricket is to not just sustain but also thrive then it needs England playing an attractive brand of cricket which is competitive with Australia, India and New Zealand and that was what enthused me the most [about the job].
“If we are able to get back to where we should which is at the top of the pile, challenging the best teams in the world and playing a brand of cricket which appeals to the next generation of talent, then we’ll hopefully get Test cricket to a stage where young kids are wanting to play the sport rather than just the short versions.
“It’s a big lofty goal, but that’s what’s in front of us and we’ll go about trying to build it from the ground up. I think we’ve got the talent to do it.”
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New Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket Rob Key believes McCullum will form a “formidable coach and captain partnership” with Ben Stokes, stating: “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. I’d like to thank Tom Harrison and the ECB Board for their support in this process.
“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.”