Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has reportedly emerged as the front-runner for England’s new Test head coach.
With Rob Key, the recently appointed director of English men’s cricket, deciding to split the roles in Test and limited-overs, it was widely interpreted that McCullum was in contention for the latter position.
Not only did he lead the Black Caps to the 2015 World Cup final, he was a seminal Twenty20 batter and over the years has developed a close friendship with England white ball captain Eoin Morgan.
But McCullum also had a successful Red Ball career, representing his country in 101 Tests and during his tenure as New Zealand captain between 2013 and 2016 was credited with a new philosophy that laid the foundation for last year’s Test World Cup triumph Year passed Kane Williamson.
Although he has never coached a top-flight team, the more dynamic attitude he displayed at the helm of New Zealand could appeal to new England Test captain Ben Stokes, whose first outing in a three-game Test series will be against McCullum’s native Black Caps , from June 2nd at Lord’s.
McCullum, 40, is said to have been interviewed for the position and an announcement of the successful candidate could be made sometime this week.
Gary Kirsten was seen as an early favorite after leading India to the 2011 World Cup and South Africa to the top of the world Test rankings in 2012, but the ex-Proteas slugger could be sidelined again.
Three years ago, Kirsten was overlooked in favor of Chris Silverwood, who oversaw England in all three formats but was sacked after a sobering 4-0 defeat by Ashes in Australia last winter.
Paul Collingwood, who recently took over England’s red- and white-ball legs in the West Indies, remains in the running for appointment as head coach of the 50-over and T20 sides, but Kirsten’s position in the game means he’s still a contender could be for the position.
While McCullum at the Kolkata Knight Riders and Kirsten at the Gujarat Titans currently have managerial roles in the Indian Premier League, Key has indicated it would not be a barrier to landing one of the vacant roles in England.