Brendon McCullum: Bears signing 'in world's top two T20 players'

Brendon McCullum
McCullum's highest T20 score is 158 not out off 78 balls in the inaugural Indian Premier League game in 2008

New Birmingham Bears signing Brendon McCullum is one of the two best Twenty20 players in the world, says director of cricket Dougie Brown.

McCullum, 33, led New Zealand to the recent World Cup final and will play seven games in this summer's T20 Blast.

"With AB de Villiers, he's in the top two players in the world in Twenty20 at the moment," Brown told BBC WM 95.6.

"Everybody talks about Ian Botham at Somerset and McCullum is in exactly the same vain. He's extremely exciting."

McCullum is the leading run scorer in international T20 cricket with 2,105 runs at a strike rate of 135.28.

He will join the Bears as they look to retain the T20 Blast title, with his first game scheduled to be against Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford on 26 June.

"Getting the players enthused and motivated at the beginning of the summer is very important and I'm sure this has done that," Brown said.

Bears batsman William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, said: "We'll be looking to start well in the cup and when he comes he's only going to strengthen the side.

"The buzz amongst the lads is there for all to see. It's a great signing and hopefully he can help us defend the cup."

Brendon McCullum: The stats
Tests: 92, Runs: 5,870, Best: 302, Average: 38.87, Strike rate: 62.70, Centuries: 11, Fifties: 28
ODIs; 249, Runs: 5,808, Best: 166, Average: 30.56, Strike rate: 94.46, Centuries: 5, Fifties: 31
T20Is: 70, Runs: 2,105, Best: 123, Average: 35.67, Strike rate: 135.28, Centuries: 2, Fifties: 13
All T20: 197, Runs: 5,570, Best: 158*, Average: 32.01, Strike rate: 133.82, Centuries: 5, Fifties: 29