McCullum to retire from Black Caps duty


New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has announced he will retire from international cricket following next year's Test series against Australia.

Since making his Test bow in April 2004 against South Africa, McCullum has made 99 consecutive five-day appearances - a record from debut - and will rack up a century when Australia head to Wellington in February next year.

McCullum, who began his career as a wicketkeeper, will not pursue Daniel Vettori's Test-best mark of 112 caps, however, and he also plans to bow out ahead of the World Twenty20 in India - which he had been expected to play a starring role in.

Earlier this year, McCullum led New Zealand to a first World Cup final, where they were ultimately undone by co-hosts Australia, but not after catching the eye with a highly aggressive approach, embodied by the powerful skipper.

From his 99 Test caps to date, McCullum has scored 6,273 runs at an average of 38.48, but he will bow out of the game with several notable records to his name.

His 302 at Basin Reserve against India in February 2014 was the first triple century scored by a New Zealander in Test cricket, leading the Black Caps to a record total of 680-6 declared - a Test record for any third innings.

McCullum has racked up 5,909 runs at 30.30 in 254 one-day international appearances.

He was the first batsman to reach 1,000 runs in T20 internationals, and has gone to rack up 2,140 runs in 71 games in the shortest format.

McCullum's eye for the big shot and desire to score quickly has transformed New Zealand cricket, as well as influencing the approach of other sides in the game.

Fittingly, the biggest record within his grasp will come if he can clear the ropes in either of the two Tests against Australia next year - he is currently tied on 100 Test sixes with trans-Tasman great Adam Gilchrist.

After tying the wicketkeeper against Sri Lanka this month, the ever-amiable McCullum said: "It's the only record I actually care about. It's the only record that Kane [Williamson] or Ross [Taylor] aren't going to break as well so I should be able to hold on to that one!"