Kevin Pietersen and Piers Morgan hail England’s ‘very positive’ move to appoint Brendon McCullum head coach of the Test team – but fans fear his expertise coaching in the white ball format will see the move backfire
The appointment of Brendon McCullum as the Head Coach of England’s Test side has been hailed by Kevin Pietersen and Piers Morgan but met with a mixed reaction from many other fans, who fear his expertise in white ball cricket could see the move backfire.
McCullum, 40, will be in place to start his role for next month’s three-match Test series against his native New Zealand, which gets underway at Lord’s from June 2, subject to obtaining the necessary work visa.
He currently works as Head Coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and previously coached Trinbago Knight Riders to the 2020 Caribbean Premier League title.
Brendon McCullum was appointed as the Head Coach of England’s Test side on Thursday
Piers Morgan and Kevin Pietersen were positive about the move – McCullum played 101 Tests for New Zealand and captained his country for four years
But in his coaching career, McCullum has worked with teams in the white ball format
RECORD AS A PLAYER
Games: 101 (Test), 260 (ODI), 71 (T20)
Inns: 176 (Test), 228 (ODI), 70 (T20)
Runs: 6,453 (Test), 6,083 (ODI), 2,140 (T20)
Average: 38.64 (Test), 30.41 (ODI), 35.66 (T20)
Highest score: 302 (Test), 166 (ODI), 123 (T20)
But in his playing career, he notched 101 Test caps for New Zealand and captained his side from 2012 up to his 2016 retirement.
‘BOOM! Brilliant appointment. Congrats @BazMcCullum – you’re exactly what we need to fix the Test team,’ Morgan, a big cricket fan, wrote on Twitter.
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen was equally as positive, tweeting: ‘Very positive! Very good!’.
But England Test fans responded with concern that McCullum’s lack of coaching experience in the longer of the format of the game may hinder his efforts to rebuild the team alongside the new captain Ben Stokes.
One fan wrote in response to Thursday’s announcement: ‘So we have an inexperienced Captain, an inexperienced Managing Director and now an inexperienced Head Coach that’s never coached a national side. This should be interesting time to say the least.’
Another said: ‘a coach with exclusively white ball experience gets the red ball job:’ alongside a video of Australia batsman Steve Smith saying ‘I’m going to be here a while – anyone got any ideas what I can do’.
But some supporters were optimistic. One said: ‘Excited about this. We were very timid under Silverwood. Very much a ‘try by the numbers’ coaching. Looking forward to see if this can translate to an England test team worth watching again.
Rob Key, the new Managing Director of England cricket, hailed the appointment.
‘We are delighted to confirm Brendon as England Men’s Test Head Coach,’ Key said. ‘It has been a real privilege to get to know him and understand his views and vision for the game. 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.’