The Kolkata Knight Riders have named former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum as their head coach for the upcoming IPL season. He will replace former South African cricketer Jacques Kallis, who held the position since late 2015. McCullum is also set to take charge of the Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL, owned by the same group.
Last week, McCullum announced his retirement from all forms of the game following his stint at the Global T20 Canada. Early reports suggested that McCullum would go on to become head coach of Trinbago, but only an assistant coach of KKR. That has changed, with the head positions for both franchises going to Baz.
Kolkata recently parted ways with Kallis and assistant coach Simon Katich, who was also the head coach of Trinbago.
“It’s a great honour to take on this responsibility,” said McCullum, who was associated with KKR as a player from 2008-10 and then again from 2012-13.
“The Knight Rider franchises in IPL and CPL have become iconic and have set the standard in franchise cricket. We have fantastic squads in both KKR and TKR and I, along with the support staff will be looking to build on the success both franchises have enjoyed.”
The 37-year-old had signed up to play in the inaugural Euro T20 Slam for the Glasgow franchise just two weeks ago. It is understood that his sudden retirement was because Trinbago wanted him to come on board from this season itself. Since the dates of both tournaments clashed, McCullum called it quits. Though in a recent development, the Euro T20 Slam stands cancelled due to financial shortcomings.
Brendon McCullum has fond memories of himself as a KKR player. In 2008, he struck an unbeaten 158 in the inaugural game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The dazzling century set the tone for the rest of the tournament, also making him the first centurion of IPL. After retiring from the longer formats in 2016, McCullum went on to play in T20 competitions across the globe where he found tremendous success.