Cricket: Former Blackcaps captain Brendon McCullum confirmed as new England test coach

Former Blackcaps captain Brendon McCullum has been appointed as England's test head coach, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced.

McCullum, 40, will take charge of the side - which has won just one of its last 17 tests - to replace Chris Silverwood, who was sacked after England's 4-0 Ashes series defeat to Australia.

The 101-test veteran is currently coach of Kolkata Knight Riders, but will leave after this IPL season to begin as England coach.

Brendon McCullum.
Brendon McCullum. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

McCullum's first series as England coach will be against his former side the Blackcaps, starting at Lord's on June 2.

His appointment will see McCullum link with England's new test captain Ben Stokes, appointed earlier this year after Joe Root stepped aside after a 1-0 series loss away to the West Indies.

McCullum's immediate priority will be to attempt to restore England's test fortunes, with his side currently bottom of the ICC's World Test Championship table for 2021/23, with just 18 points from 12 matches played.

"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," 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.

"I've enjoyed several robust conversations with Rob Key [ECB managing director] about the direction of travel for the team and have found his enthusiasm contagious. I'm no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment, and I can't wait to get started.

"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."

Despite McCullum's inexperience as a red ball coach, Key has no doubts as to McCullum's suitability for the job.

McCullum has only coached Twenty20 cricket, both in the IPL and with the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League, which he won in 2020.

"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," Key said.

"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."

As a player, McCullum played 101 tests, 260 One Day Internationals, and 71 T20 Internationals, including steering the Blackcaps to a first Cricket World Cup final.