Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is all set to become the Test team coach of England. McCullum, who is currently serving as Kolkata Knight Riders’ coach at the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, is believed to have agreed in principle to accept the job.
Notably, the New Zealander was expected to be a candidate for the white-ball coaching job, as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has split the main coaching roles. However, several British newspapers reported on Tuesday night that McCullum is now in line for the Test job following the interviews held at the start of this week.
Appointing McCullum as the Test team coach of England would definitely be a bold move as the former wicketkeeper-batter has never coached the first-class side. But he is widely credited for changing the culture of New Zealand’s Test team as the leader between 2013 and 2016 and somehow laying the foundation for the World Test Championship title last year under his successor, Kane Williamson.
Rob Key, the ECB’s new managing director of men’s cricket, has reportedly led the interview process and revealed during his first press conference at Lord’s that he had sought opinions on the Test side from the current while-ball skipper Eoin Morgan – who happens to be McCullum’s close friend and KKR’s captain in IPL 2021 during their run to the final.
“I’ve spoken to Eoin about red-ball cricket as well. I asked his opinion. You want good people with good brains around you to work stuff out, so Eoin Morgan is someone I would speak to about so many different things,” said Key, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
That said, Key also stressed the ECB needs to bring in more English coaches, admitting it is a failure of the system.
“Let’s be honest, we are at this point where we have two coaching jobs, and the majority of the names coming at you will be overseas coaches. That can’t be right. That is a fault of the system, and we need to be sorting this out. Whenever I read [the media], you are always tipping overseas coaches, and that is the fault of us at the ECB,” said Key, as quoted by SkySports.