The former New Zealand coxswain, the inspiration for the revival of the white ball in England, could get a chance to have a big word on the red ball side as well
Picture: Ryan Pierse)
New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum has emerged as the new favorite to be named England’s test selector this week.
And the 40-year-old could establish a partnership on the dream team Ben Stokes as a captain, as two men who have similar positive views on the game and how to move on.
South African Gary Kirsten was believed to be the leader for the test job, while McCullum was mentioned as a possible coach for the white team thanks to his experience leading Kolkata Knight Riders in India Premier League and his lead over 50 defeated New Zealand 2015 World Cup finalists.
But that ignores his test pedigree in which he played 101 times for the Blackcaps, captaining them 31 times. And with perfect timing, Lord’s could host a remarkable reunion with McCullum’s first assignment to be against his compatriots on June 2, with New Zealand-born Stokes leading the side.
McCullum’s name was often used in conjunction with his good friend Eoin Morgan, an English captain who has won the World Cup with 50 over 50, and who led KKR under him last year.
He admits that he took inspiration from McCullum when he revolutionized the English white ball lineup, and he also had a strong influence on new CEO Rob Kay.
Key revealed that he sought Morgan’s advice not only regarding the white ball but also the red ball. At his first press conference, Key said: “I actually talked to Eoin about red ball cricket, not saying he would be captain, but I asked his opinion. I said you want good people around you with good brains to handle things, so Eoin Morgan is someone I would talk to about so many different things. ”
Action pictures via Reuters / Henry Browne)
McCullum may have become a global superstar thanks to his feats of the white ball as one of the most devastating hitters in the game, launching the IPL with 158 in the first match.
But the former striker striker has an outstanding career in test cricket behind him, not least in terms of his leadership that laid the groundwork for New Zealand’s rise to the top of the red ball game by becoming the last World Test Championship winner of the year.
McCullum, along with coach Mike Hesson with whom he worked as captain, is credited with reviving New Zealand cricket in all forms of cricket after controversially replacing Ross Taylor as skipper in 2012. But it turned out to be a masterful move as the Blackcaps began their journey towards the World Cup final and notable victories in tests over India in 2014 and Sri Lanka.
McCullum withdrew from test cricket in 2016, scoring the fastest century in the process with just 54 balls against Australia. He invokes test cricket as the purest form of the game and obviously has great respect for its tradition, but he was a modern player who took the game in a positive way wherever possible.