• McCullum to miss SA tour

    AB de Villiers and his ODI team will not have to face the aggressive captaincy and batting of Brendon McCullum when New Zealand tour South Africa in August.

    The Proteas will play two T20 internationals and three ODI’s against the Black Caps. The last time the teams met was in the semi-finals of the World Cup back in March.

    McCullum will also miss New Zealand’s tour of Zimbabwe after re-signing with New Zealand Cricket for another year. He also committed to the Big Bash League side Brisbane Heat for the next three years, which is coached by his former New Zealand team-mate Daniel Vettori.

    The reason given for McCullum missing both tours was because he’s had an ‘intense period of cricket dating back to the World Cup,’ according to an NZC release.

    McCullum, however, has committed to leading New Zealand in the home and away series against Australia at the end of 2015 and the 2016 World T20 in March, putting to rest recent speculation that he may give up ODI cricket.

    NZC said its annual contracting process will be completed next week and the list of players being offered contracts will be announced on July 1.

    ‘It’s a critical time for the team,’ McCullum said. ‘We’ve had a very good past 18 months but we’ve got some real challenges ahead of us and we need to keep making progress. This is a young, emerging side with some very big series on the horizon and it’s a really exciting time to be involved.’