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Brendon McCullum says England can be the nation to reverse the ‘downward trend’ of red-ball cricket

Brendon McCullum insists England can be the nation to reverse the ‘downtrend’ of red ball cricket after being named test team head coach, as he hails Ben Stokes as a ‘really strong leader’

  • Brendon McCullum says England can rejuvenate red ball cricket around the world
  • The 40-year-old has been appointed head coach of the England Test Team
  • McCullum admitted it was a ‘big risk’ for anyone to give him the job
  • He also praised new Test captain Ben Stokes as a ‘really strong leader’

Brendon McCullum believes England can reverse the ‘downtrend’ of red ball cricket around the world.

The former New Zealand captain has been appointed head coach of the England Test team in a bid to improve their fortunes, with just one win in their last 17 games.

“I think for me red ball cricket has always been the pinnacle of the sport, if you look at where the game is at the moment it’s probably a bit of a downtrend and for me England is the nation that can really change that is England. McCullum told Sky Sports.

Brendon McCullum believes England can reverse the 'downtrend' of red ball cricket

Brendon McCullum believes England can reverse the ‘downtrend’ of red ball cricket

“Because of the tradition of test cricket here in England and I think the fans will follow and the support it gets in this country.

“If we want to be competitive in Test cricket, I think we’ll go a long way in trying to hopefully shift that a little bit in terms of the perception of red ball cricket moving forward.”

McCullum also praised new Test captain Ben Stokes as a ‘really strong leader’ and admitted he will not be a practical technical coach.

‘I certainly don’t coach technically. I understand the technique of course, but for me it’s more about tactics and man management and trying to give the team the right environment to try to be the best version of themselves,” said the 40-year-old.

Former New Zealand captain has praised Ben Stokes (pictured) as 'a really strong leader'

Former New Zealand captain has praised Ben Stokes (pictured) as ‘a really strong leader’

“So I think with Stokesy as captain we have a very strong leader, a ‘follow me’ captain and so I think my job will be to try and make sure we are consistent with a lot of our messages.

“I will also take care of the guys in the area and really try to grow them at a rate that they may not have had before, so it’s a big challenge.”

McCullum admits it was a “great risk” for everyone involved to give him the job, but he believes in his own abilities despite his limited experience coaching red balls.

McCullum admits it was a 'big risk' for everyone involved to give him the job of head coach

McCullum admits it was a ‘big risk’ for everyone involved to give him the job of head coach

“I’m confident in the skills I have and I’m confident in the group that we need to start things too,” he said.

‘Of course it can take me a while to get used to the methods and working methods here and it can take guys a while to get used to me too, but I’m looking forward to it.

“For me it was a big risk that everyone took, but for me you’re not going to get anywhere unless you take risks.”

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