New England Test coach Brendon McCullum has insisted captain Ben Stokes is the "perfect character" to help turnaround their poor run of form.
McCullum takes over an England side that has won just one of their last 17 Test matches and he is under no illusions about the difficulty of the job he has accepted. The New Zealand legend says he is "acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces", but believes he and Stokes can "move the team forward into a more successful era".
Managing Director of England Men's Cricket Rob Key believes McCullum and Stokes will for a "formidable coach and captain partnership" and has urged supporters to "buckle up and get ready for the ride".
You can read McCullum's full statement right below…
"I'd like to say how pleased I am to be given this opportunity to positively contribute to England's Test cricket set-up and move the team forward into a more successful era," McCullum said. In taking this role on, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces at present, and I strongly believe in my ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force once we've confronted them head-on.
"I've enjoyed several robust conversations with Rob Key about the direction of travel for the team and have found his enthusiasm contagious. I'm no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment, and I can't wait to get started.
"Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful unit around us."
McCullum will work closely with new England Test captain Ben Stokes
Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
Key added: "We are delighted to confirm Brendon as England Men's Test Head Coach. It has been a real privilege to get to know him and understand his views and vision for the game.
"I believe his appointment will be good for England's Test team. He has a recent history of changing cricket culture and environments for the better, and I believe he is the person to do that for England's red-ball cricket.
"We were incredibly fortunate to have a seriously strong list of quality candidates for the post, with Brendon demonstrating he was our number one choice. I'd like to thank Tom Harrison and the ECB Board for their support in this process.
"I believe in Brendon and Ben Stokes – a formidable coach and captain partnership. Time for us all to buckle up and get ready for the ride."