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McCullum to deliver Cowdrey Lecture

Brendon McCullum has captained New Zealand 29 times at Test level
Brendon McCullum has captained New Zealand 29 times at Test level

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum will deliver the 2016 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture on Monday 6 June at Lord’s.

McCullum will become the second New Zealander to give the address, following Martin Crowe in 2006.

The 34-year-old, who will retire from international cricket after New Zealand’s Test series against Australia in February, was selected for the event both in recognition of the way his team has played and conducted itself under his captaincy and his continued support for the MCC Spirit of Cricket.

After McCullum’s speech, a Q&A session with him and a selected panel of cricketers will discuss topics arising from the Lecture and other issues prevalent in cricket.

Both the lecture and the Q&A will be streamed live on the Lord’s YouTube channel.

I was very pleased to accept the invitation

What is the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture?

The content of the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture regularly generates headlines across the cricket world, with addresses from Imran Khan (2010), Kumar Sangakkara (2011) and Sir Ian Botham (2014) among the most talked-about Lectures of recent years.

Previous speakers at the event also include Barry Richards (2002), the Most Reverend Dr Desmond Tutu (2008) and Rod Marsh (2015).

The inaugural address was delivered by the late Richie Benaud in 2001.

Past question and answer panellists have included Sunil Gavaskar, Alastair Cook and Mahela Jayawardene.

McCullum's pedigree

McCullum has played 99 Test matches to date, scoring 6273 runs at an average of 38.48.

He has scored 11 centuries and in 2014 became the first New Zealander to post a Test triple century when he amassed 302 against India in Wellington.

He has played seven international matches at Lord’s, including four Tests.

He narrowly missed out on a place on the famous Lord’s Honours Boards on two occasions having scored 96 in 2004 and 97 in 2008, both in Test matches against England.

McCullum will return to Lord’s this summer having agreed to play for Middlesex from the end of his stint in the Indian Premier League until 25 June.

McCullum to join the MCC World Cricket committee

He will also join the MCC World Cricket committee on 1 October 2016*, having been selected by Chairman Mike Brearley and MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson.

McCullum will engage in the committee’s work on issues such as the potential inclusion of cricket in the Olympics and regulations on bat sizes.

The committee was influential in the development of pink ball cricket and McCullum’s experience of the inaugural day-night Test in November means he will be heavily involved in the continued development of the concept.

McCullum said: “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.

"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.”

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.”

*Subject to ratification from the MCC Committee

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