New England Test head coach Brendon McCullum reveals he had NO interest in ‘cushy kind of gig’ with the white-ball team – and instead wanted to change his life for something ‘a bit meaty’ after surprise appointment
- Brendon McCullum was announced as England’s new Test coach on Thursday
- The New Zealander had previously been touted for the one-day and T20 position
- But McCullum insisted ‘Test cricket is my real love’ after taking the new job
- McCullum’s first assignment will be against New Zealand, starting on June 2
Brendon McCullum has admitted he had no interest in the ‘cushy’ white-ball coaching role – and says England can help the Test format’s global standing by playing an entertaining brand of cricket.
McCullum, who was unveiled on Thursday as England’s new Test coach, had previously been touted for the one-day and T20 position, but said the success of his close friend Eoin Morgan’s limited-overs teams would have left him with little to do.
And despite carving out a lucrative white-ball coaching career for himself at the Indian Premier League, he insisted: ‘Test cricket is my real love.’
Brendon McCullum has admitted he had no interest in the ‘cushy’ white-ball coaching role
McCullum says the success of Eoin Morgan’s white-ball side would’ve left him with little to do
‘I looked at the two roles and the white ball didn’t interest me as such, because the team are flying,’ he told New Zealand radio station SENZ. ‘They’re one of the best teams in the world.
‘Eoin Morgan is a very good friend of mine, and has built a structure and a system that will continue well after he finishes playing. So I wasn’t really interested in a cushy kind of gig.
‘For me, if you’re going to change your life for something, it’s got to be something a bit grunty, a bit meaty. The challenge of trying to bring a team which is rock bottom at the moment out of that situation and to build something long-term, sustainable and successful – that’s where the challenge lay.’
McCullum will spend much of his free time with his family in New Zealand when England aren’t playing Tests, and said the chance to ‘commute and still spend a lot of times at those grounds, with the traditions and the history of the game became appealing’.
He added: ‘If we can get the England side to a level where they want to watch us play Test cricket, because of the style of play and the personalities involved and because it’s entertaining, then Test cricket has a chance not just of surviving, but also thriving.
McCullum (left) was Test captain of the Black Caps from 2012 to his retirement in 2016
New MD Rob Key (pic) and the selection panel believed McCullum was the top candidate
‘For me, Test cricket is on a downward trend in terms of its popularity, ad and while I’m lucky enough to have a career in franchise cricket and white-ball cricket, Test cricket is my real love.
‘If anyone is going to be able to reinvigorate Test cricket and get it popular again, then it’s going to be England.’
England’s first assignment under McCullum will be against his native New Zealand at Lord’s, starting on June 2. ‘That’s going to be a little interesting,’ he said, ‘but at the same time there’s something kind of cool about it too.’