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Brendon McCullum statement in full as new England coach begins tenure with bullish claim

By Matthew Cooper

New England Test coach Brendon McCullum has insisted captain Ben Stokes is the "perfect character" to help turnaround their poor run of form.

McCullum takes over an England side that has won just one of their last 17 Test matches and he is under no illusions about the difficulty of the job he has accepted. The New Zealand legend says he is "acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces", but believes he and Stokes can "move the team forward into a more successful era".

Managing Director of England Men's Cricket Rob Key believes McCullum and Stokes will for a "formidable coach and captain partnership" and has urged supporters to "buckle up and get ready for the ride".

You can read McCullum's full statement right below...

"I'd like to say how pleased I am to be given this opportunity to positively contribute to England's Test cricket set-up and move the team forward into a more successful era," McCullum said. In taking this role on, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces at present, and I strongly believe in my ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force once we've confronted them head-on.

"I've enjoyed several robust conversations with Rob Key about the direction of travel for the team and have found his enthusiasm contagious. I'm no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment, and I can't wait to get started.

"Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful unit around us."

McCullum will work closely with new England Test captain Ben Stokes (Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

Key added: "We are delighted to confirm Brendon as England Men's Test Head Coach. 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."

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Dive Deeper:
England appoint New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum as new Test coach
Brendon McCullum has been confirmed as the new England Test coach, with the New Zealand legend replacing former head coach…
Brendon McCullum confirmed as new England Test coach: ‘Buckle up and get ready for the ride’
Brendon McCullum has confidently declared that he is ready to confront the “significant challenges” facing England’s Test team “head on”,…
Michael Atherton says new England coach Brendon McCullum is the "anti-Chris Silverwood"
Brendon McCullum has been tasked with turning around England's woeful Test form, with the side winning just one of their…
Brendon McCullum ‘knocked his interview out of the park’ as new England Test coach excites Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss has revealed that Brendon McCullum “knocked his interview out the park” to become Test coach, and can herald…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Brendon McCullum: England close in on New Zealand great as shock Test coach appointment
England are edging towards appointing the legendary former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum as their new Test head coach.
Brendon McCullum: Former New Zealand captain favourite for England Test coach role
The 40-year-old is said to have been interviewed for the position
Get all your news in one place