Brendon McCullum: Birmingham Bears sign New Zealand captain

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum smashed a world record 18-ball half century to finish off England at the Cricket World Cup

Champions Birmingham Bears have signed New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum for this summer's T20 Blast.

The 33-year-old recently led New Zealand to the World Cup final, which they lost to Australia on Sunday.

McCullum has signed a seven-game deal, which should make him available for half of the Bears' qualifying group games, as they aim to defend the trophy they won for the first time in August.

He is due to arrive at Edgbaston after New Zealand's short tour of England.

His first game is scheduled to be against Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford on Friday, 26 June, followed by three chances for Warwickshire supporters to see McCullum in home games.

McCullum on the menu at Edgbaston
Brendon McCullum's three home matches for the Bears will be against Derbyshire (Friday, 3 July), Lancashire (Friday, 17 July) and Northants (Wednesday, 22 July).
He is the leading run-scorer in the history of international T20s, having scored 2,105 runs at an average of 35.67, including two centuries.

"Edgbaston is a fantastic ground to play at," said McCullum. "Hopefully, it will be rocking for the big Friday night matches. I'm really excited about becoming a Bear."

Bears director of cricket Dougie Brown said: "Brendon's dynamic performances in the World Cup have demonstrated once again exactly why he is one of the most feared batsmen in the game.

"Securing his availability for our last seven games has to make him one of the biggest overseas player signings in the competition's history.

"It was great to see bigger crowds at Edgbaston for our Friday night matches last season. Hopefully the opportunity to see one of the greatest limited-overs batsmen of the modern game will ensure we get even more fans to Edgbaston."

McCullum, who will be making his 10th move to a T20 team, will be taking up his third contract within county cricket in England and Wales.

He previously came over to play for Glamorgan in 2006 and Sussex, for whom he played limited-overs cricket only in 2010.