Brendon McCullum is all set to become the red ball coach of the England team with Ben Stokes at the helm as its captain. The New Zealander is believed to have agreed in principle to accept the job.
Cricbuzz understands that a formal offer from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has already been made after negotiations started a few days ago and the announcement is expected within a couple of days. Rob Key, the new Managing Director of the England men’s team, has been in touch with McCullum, who is currently in Mumbai as the head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Should the deal come through, he would be the second incumbent KKR coach that the ECB would have got from KKR. They had earlier got Trevor Bayliss while he was in a long-term contract with the IPL franchise.
Back then, the former ECB director Andrew Strauss made a lucrative offer to Bayliss to compensate the Australian’s IPL income. Even this time, the offer for McCullum is understood to be quite handsome and the New Zealander, who has played 101 Tests, is learned to have informed his present employer.
“We have nothing to say at this stage. The recruitment process is ongoing. A decision is likely this week,” a spokesman for the ECB told Cricbuzz.
Reports have suggested that McCullum would have been an ideal choice for a white ball role, particularly since he has been coaching in franchise tournaments for some time but the 40-year-old Kiwi is apparently not happy taking up the white ball position. The ECB will have to look for a different candidate for coaching the England ODI and T20I sides.
Also, once the pen has been put on the paper, McCullum will have a series against New Zealand as his first international coaching assignment. England and New Zealand are scheduled to play three Tests at Lord’s, Nottingham and Leeds from June 2.
However, when exactly he can formally take charge will depend on how far the Kolkata Knight Riders progress in the IPL. The league stage completes on May 22 and KKR are still in with a chance to qualify for the playoffs which means they are in with a possibility of going the distance till May 29, when the final will be played.