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Brendon McCullum to Retire after Australia Tests

... Cricbuzz:

Brendon McCullum has officially announced that he will retire after the second Test against Australia in February. It also means that he will not be available for the World T20 starting soon after and Kane Williamson is set to lead New Zealand in the marquee tournament.

"Ideally, I would have preferred to wait until after the Test in Christchurch to make this news public. 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," said McCullum.

The 34-year old will play his 100th consecutive Test when New Zealand take on Australia in the first match of the series on February 12 while the second Test starting on February 20 will be the last of his career.

McCullum also preferred not to distract himself from the challenges before that. New Zealand take on Sri Lanka and Pakistan in limited overs series before Australia come touring.

"There's a time and place for reflection, and that's at the end of your career. For now, I'll be giving all my attention to helping the team focus on what's coming up over the next few weeks - and making sure we're in the best possible shape for what's going to be a very challenging summer," said McCullum.

McCullum's final years as New Zealand skipper (he took charge in 2013) were some of the most successful years for the country. Playing in an unabashedly aggressive manner, McCullum was at the forefront of a Kiwi team that enthralled viewers as they finished as runners-up in the 2015 World Cup. Under McCullum, New Zealand grew into a side that not only played exciting cricket but were also appreciated for the way they carried themselves off the field.

The aggressive batsman's absence will be big boots to fill in but Kane Williamson is expected to fill them after being named as his successor for the World T20.

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