Brendon McCullum to deliver the 2016 MCC Spirit of Cricket address
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who is set to retire from international cricket at the conclusion of the series against Australia in February, will deliver the annual MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture at Lord's in June.
In 2011, Richie Benaud delivered the first MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture. Since then several eminent personalities, including the likes Desmond Tutu, Imran Khan and Kumar Sangakkara have delivered the lucture.
McCullum will join Martin Crowe as the only other New Zealander to deliver the address. Crow delivered his in 2006 and the current Kiwi skipper will follow suit exactly a decade later.
"It was an honour to be asked to deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey lecture - especially given the stature of some previous speakers - so I was very pleased to accept the invitation,” McCullum said. “There are a number of important issues in world cricket at the moment that I am looking forward to addressing, and I hope it is an interesting evening for everyone watching. I'm also very pleased to be joining the World Cricket committee in October and being given the chance to discuss and have an impact on world cricket."
Despite a disastrous start to his captaincy in 2013, McCullum has transformed the fortunes of New Zealand’s cricket team and his emphasis on being fair and enjoying the game has helped his side go through one of their most successful periods in the country’s history, including reaching the 2015 World Cup final.
Aside from delivering the lecture, McCullum will also join the MCC’s World Cricket Committee in October. The committee was introduced to examine the issues affecting the game, from the development of pink balls to Olympic participation.
MCC president Roger Knight said: "Brendon McCullum is one of the best cricketers of his generation and I'm sure will be a very engaging speaker, especially given his insight in to the modern game. He has embodied the play hard, play fair message of the MCC Spirit of Cricket throughout his playing career, especially in his captaincy, so is a perfect fit for this event.
"We are delighted that MCC's relationship with Brendon will continue after the lecture when he joins our World Cricket committee in October, and I've no doubt his experience will be a valuable asset to the group.”
The Spirit of Cricket lecture will take place on June 6, after which McCullum will join a panel of players for a question-and-answer session that will discuss topics arising from his speech and other issues affecting the game.