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Michael Vaughan admits Brendon McCullum England appointment makes him "nervous"

By Matthew Cooper

Michael Vaughan has questioned why Gary Kirsten was overlooked to coach England 's Test team in favour of Brendon McCullum, describing the New Zealander's appointment as a "big risk".

McCullum was unveiled as England's new Test coach on Thursday, with the 40-year-old insisting he can "move the team forward into a more successful era". And while Vaughan believes McCullum is "the perfect mentor, thinker and culture driver", he is concerned about his lack of experience.

Vaughan feels Kirsten would have been a "safer pair of hands" and described the decision to overlook him as "incredibly bizarre". In his latest column for the Telegraph , he wrote: "England's bold appointment of Brendon McCullum makes me nervous. If English cricket has overlooked someone like Gary Kirsten for a second time I do find it incredibly bizarre. I don't see how we have made that call twice.

"He is the perfect mentor, thinker and culture driver who has done it before and has the t-shirt. What England have gone for in Brendon is exciting and a big name, but it is a big risk as well.

"He is taking over England at the right time. They are at their lowest ebb since the mid 1990s.

"He will not have to do much for us all to see a massive improvement but if it doesn't happen quickly then there will be questions asked about his appointment and whether England would have been better off with a safer pair of hands, more experienced and know how to coach in Test cricket. But one thing is for sure, we are in for an interesting ride."

McCullum saw off the likes of Gary Kirsten for the England Test gig (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

On the face of it, McCullum's experience coaching on the T20 franchise circuit and close relationship with captain Eoin Morgan would have made him an ideal candidate to coach the white ball side. However, McCullum was never interested in that role, describing it as a "cushy gig".

Speaking on his SENZ radio show 'Breakfast with Baz and Izzy' , he said: "The white ball job didn't interest me as such because they are flying. They are one of the best teams in the world, they are the world champions after the 2019 World Cup.

"They've got Eoin Morgan in there who is a very good friend of mine who has built a structure and a system that will continue well after he has finished playing, so I wasn't interested in a cushy gig. I'm looking to try to build something long term, sustainable and successful, that is where the challenge lay, plus I love Test cricket."

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Dive Deeper:
Brendon McCullum’s England appointment could be inspired, Michael Atherton believes
The 40-year-old has never coached at first class or Test level, but he is renowned as one of the sport’s…
Brendon McCullum 'did not apply' for England job with Rob Key making him 'first choice'
Brendon McCullum has been appointed England Test coach and the New Zealanader has been tasked with turning around a side…
Brendon McCullum took England job for challenge of improving ‘rock bottom’ team
The ex-New Zealand skipper should, pending visa approvals, arrive in the UK in time to lead a three-Test series against…
Brendon McCullum: Chance to revitalise ‘rock bottom’ England and declining Test cricket too good to turn down
Brendon McCullum says the twin challenges of reinvigorating “rock bottom” England and giving a shot in the arm to the…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
What will Brendon McCullum bring to the England role?
The New Zealander will lead England’s men’s Test team into their new era.
Brendon McCullum named England men’s Test coach
The former New Zealand skipper replaces Chris Silverwood, who departed in February
Get all your news in one place