McCullum to bid adieu to international cricket
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket after the home two-Test series against Australia in February.
The 34-year-old batsman will feature in his world-record 100th successive Test since debut at the Basin Reserve on February 12 and will quit after the second Test at Hagley Oval from February 20.
With McCullum retiring, 25-year old batsman Kane Williamson, who has become the top-ranked Test batsman, will captain the New Zealand team during the World Twenty20 in India to be held from March 8 to April 3.
McCullum said he wanted to make the announcement later but he was compelled to share it now as New Zealand will soon name its team for the World T20.
“Ideally, I would have preferred to wait until after the Test in Christchurch to make this news public.
“However, the schedule for naming the ICC World T20 squads means I couldn’t have managed this without causing a lot of confusion and speculation, something I was keen to avoid,” said McCullum, a day after his team won the Test series against Sri Lanka 2-0.
“I’ve loved my opportunity to play for and captain the Black Caps but all good things have to come to an end, and I’m just grateful for the wonderful experience of playing for my country,” added the swashbuckling batsman, who became the first New Zealander ever to reach the triple ton milestone against India in Wellington last year.
McCullum, who shares the world record of 100 Test sixes with Australian Adam Gilchrist and also holds the record for the most Twenty20 sixes, said he doesn’t want to dwell on his achievements now and wants to focus all his energy on the upcoming tournaments.
“There’s a time and place for reflection and that’s at the end of your career. For now, I’ll be giving all my attention to helping the team focus on what’s coming up over the next few weeks — and making sure we’re in the best possible shape for what’s going to be a very challenging summer,” he said.
McCullum, who made his international debut against Australia in 2002 and played his first Test against South Africa two years later, scored 6,273 runs, including 11 centuries, in his 99 Tests. He also played 254 ODIs, scoring 5,909 runs with five hundreds.