England cricket hero Michael Vaughan reacts to Brendon McCullum’s appointment

Michael Vaughan has reacted to Brendon McCullum's appointment

Michael Vaughan has reacted to the appointment of Brendon McCullum (Images: Getty)

Michael Vaughan says England’s appointment of Brendon McCullum as Test manager is a “big risk” and admits the move makes him “nervous”.

Former New Zealand captain McCullum was officially appointed as England’s new Red Ball coach on Thursday, replacing Chris Silverwood in the role.

McCullum, who has signed a four-year contract with England, will be called up for the Test series against his native New Zealand in June.

The 40-year-old has never coached top-flight cricket but since retiring from playing in 2019 has established himself as one of the highest-rated white-ball coaches in the world.

McCullum is currently the head coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and previously led Trinbago Knight Riders to the 2020 Caribbean Premier League title.

Former captain Vaughan believes England fans are in for an “interesting drive” during McCullum’s tenure but is surprised that new manager Rob Key has overlooked former South Africa and India manager Gary Kirsten.

“England’s bold appointment of Brendon McCullum makes me nervous,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

New Zealand hero McCullum had a distinguished international career

New Zealand hero McCullum enjoyed a stellar international career (Picture: Getty)

“When English Cricket has failed someone like Gary Kirsten for a second time, I find that incredibly bizarre.

“I don’t understand how we made that call twice. He’s the perfect mentor, thinker and culture driver who’s done it before and has the t-shirt.

“What England have been aiming for at Brendon is exciting and a big name, but it’s also a big risk.

“He’s taking over England at the right time. They are at their lowest level since the mid-1990s.

“He won’t need to do much for us all to see a massive improvement, but if things don’t happen quickly there will be questions about his appointment and whether England would have been better off with a safer, more experienced pair and knowing how to play in Test cricket trained.

McCullum will work closely with new England Test captain Ben Stokes (Image: Getty)

“But one thing is for sure, we have an interesting ride ahead of us.”

McCullum is known for his attacking style of play, both as a player and as a manager, but Vaughan says his priority is to beat England harder.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests under former captain Joe Root, losing the Ashes 4-0 in Australia last winter and being beaten by the West Indies in March.

“I’m all for attacking play and aggressiveness but I don’t think this England Test team is capable of playing like that at the moment,” added Vaughan.

“You have to take small steps first, get used to playing long, hard periods of Test cricket and then over time, when you have a group of players with a lot of confidence, they can play more extravagantly.

“They need a little ‘back against the walls’ first. I hope Brendon can drive that.’

McCullum, who made 101 Tests for New Zealand from 2004 to 2016, will work closely with new England Tests captain Ben Stokes.

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cricket England cricket hero Michael Vaughan reacts to Brendon McCullum's appointment

Nate Jones

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