McCullum quits Test 'keeping

2010-06-27 07:22

Wellington - Brendon McCullum says he will no longer keep wicket for New Zealand in Test matches but will continue to do so in 50-overs and T20 cricket.

McCullum said his decision to quit the Test wicketkeeping role had not been made lightly and was intended to prolong his international career. He will now seek Test selection as a specialist batsman.

"I have talked to a lot of people about how they went about extending their international careers, including some prominent former and current wicketkeepers," McCullum said.

"I am passionate about playing for the Black Caps and by limiting my 'keeping to the shorter forms of the game it increases my chances of prolonging my career."

New Zealand coach Mark Greatbatch said he and his fellow selectors understood and supported McCullum's choice.

"Brendon has stated he wants to play cricket for New Zealand for as long as possible and that is really encouraging," Greatbatch said. "I know he has had trouble with injuries that are related to 'keeping and therefore understand his decision to stop 'keeping in Test cricket.

"He is a really talented player and we want him to be part of the Black Caps set up for a long time to come. But Brendon clearly understands he will only be considered as a Test batsman on his long-form batting performances."

New Zealand's general manager for cricket Geoff Allott said McCullum had faced a heavy load of international matches and had to take careful steps to manage his future availability.

"Brendon enjoys the challenge of Test cricket and has been a strong performer for New Zealand as 'keeper over a significant period of time," he said.

"While his glove work will be missed, we understand and support his decision to focus his attention on scoring runs at Test level and his objective to play on the international cricket stage for as long as possible. It is great to know he will continue to keep wicket in limited overs cricket."