Rested New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum is looking to be a big presence in the Blacks Caps’ home summer program, when a personal world cricket record beckons.
After leading New Zealand to their first World Cup final in March, McCullum captained the Kiwis on their tour of England.
The big-hitting batsman then sat out the just-completed tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa, but is planning to be involved in all three formats over the summer.
From December to February, New Zealand will host Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia, and play a total of four Tests, 11 one-dayers and five Twenty20 matches at home.
McCullum says he’s committed to the whole summer series.
He says the nature of modern cricket means it isn’t always possible to play every game.
“Hopefully, I will be part of all of it – if not all, then certainly the majority of it,” he said.
McCullum, 33, has 94 Tests to his name and, if he stays fit, will bring up his century in February against Australia at the Basin Reserve.
What would make the feat particularly remarkable is that he would be first player in cricket history to play 100 Tests in a row since making his debut.
He said it would be a proud achievement if he was able to get there, and he was also respectful of the fact that only two New Zealanders – Dan Vettori and Stephen Fleming – had made 100 or more Test appearances.
At the same time, personal records weren’t something that necessarily motivated him.
“For me, it’s more about what results we can gain as a team,” McCullum said.
“The individual milestones or accolades along the way sort of get swallowed up if you play for the right reason.”
As to how much longer he felt he had in the international arena, in which he debuted against Australia in early 2002 in the first of his 254 ODIs, McCullum said he was unsure.
“We will see what unfolds, but I am very much committed to New Zealand for this 12 months, as are all the other guys.”