• McCullum puts date on retirement

    New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum will retire from international cricket after February’s Test series against Australia.

    The 34-year-old had wanted to wait until after his final match to make the announcement, but communicated the decision earlier than planned due to the imminent naming of the Black Caps’ ICC World Twenty20 squad.

    ‘Ideally, I would have preferred to wait until after the ANZ Test in Christchurch to make this news public,’ he said at a press conference in Christchurch on Tuesday.

    ‘However, the schedule for naming the ICC World T20 squads means I could not have managed this without causing a lot of confusion and speculation – something I was keen to avoid.

    ‘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.’

    Kane Williamson will captain New Zealand at the World Twenty20 in India, which gets under way on 8 March.

    McCullum made his Test debut against South Africa in 2004 and has not missed a Test since.

    The big-hitting Dunedin-born batsman and former wicketkeeper will become the first man to play 100 successive Tests when he leads the Black Caps in the first Test against Australia in Wellington on 12 February, before making the second and final match of the series – in Christchurch, starting on 20 February – his last for his country.

    McCullum has scored 6273 runs in his 99 Tests to date, including 11 centuries, and averaged 38.48, making him New Zealand’s second highest Test run-scorer behind former captain Stephen Fleming (7,172). Last year he became the first New Zealander to post a Test triple century when he registered 302 against India in Wellington.

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