Captain Brendon McCullum bats away retirement chatter and signs new deal with New Zealand

McCullum will sit out coming tours to Zimbabwe and South Africa to recover from an intense workload around this year’s World Cup but will lead the Black Caps in home and away Test series against Australia next summer.

Brendon McCullum of New Zealand hits out for six runs during the NatWest International Twenty20 match between England and New Zealand at Old Trafford on June 23, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
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WELLINGTON // Captain Brendon McCullum has agreed a new one-year deal with New Zealand Cricket, quelling rumours of retirement and ensuring he will lead the Black Caps in home and away Test series against Australia next summer.

McCullum will sit out New Zealand’s coming tours to Zimbabwe and South Africa to recover from an intense workload around this year’s World Cup.

The batsman, 33, will be available for the series against Australia and the World Twenty20 tournament in India in March.

McCullum has played 94 Tests and is on track to become the first player to play in 100 consecutive Tests, though South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who has played 98, could precede him to that record. De Villiers is currently on paternity leave.

Speculation over McCullum’s future in one-day internationals increased after New Zealand’s recent series against England when he said he would “let the dust settle” before deciding his future.

He said yesterday he wanted to lead the developing New Zealand team.

“It’s a critical time for the side,” he said. “We’ve enjoyed a pretty good past 18 months, but there are some serious challenges ahead and we need to keep making progress.

“This is a young, emerging team with some very big series looming on the horizon and it’s really exciting to be involved.”

McCullum has also signed a three-year deal with the Brisbane Heat in Australia’s Big Bash League.

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