Brendon McCullum to step down as KKR coach to take over England job

Former New Zealand captain and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coach Brendon McCullum has informed the franchise that he will be stepping down from the role at the end of the current season to take over the England head coach’s job.

The Indian Express understands that McCullum informed the KKR players of the development during a recent team meeting. McCullum, part of KKR in the inaugural edition in 2008 when he hit a swashbuckling 158 in the first-ever IPL match, has also played for and coached Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League.

“He informed us that he won’t be part of KKR going ahead as he will be taking up a job as England cricket team coach. He informed us during a team meeting a few days ago,” a KKR insider said.

The former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman has emerged as the favourite to become England’s Test coach, the BBC and other British media reported. A formal announcement is due this week.

Chris Silverwood left the role in February in the aftermath of their 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia, with Paul Collingwood named as caretaker. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) then invited applications for separate Test and white-ball coaches.

Reports said 40-year-old McCullum had expressed his interest in the job. McCullum played the last of his 101 Tests in Christchurch in February 2016 against Australia, when he hit the fastest century in the format (54 balls), finishing his career with 6,453 runs, 12 tons and 31 half-centuries.

If McCullum does take over as England’s Test coach, it will add a layer of intrigue to his first assignment on the job – a three-match home series against the Kiwis. England have already unveiled New Zealand-born Ben Stokes as their new Test captain, hoping for a swift turnaround under the talismanic all-rounder after a tame end to Joe Root’s five years in charge.

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