Aggressive batsman Brendon McCullum has ended uncertainty over his international career after signing a one-year contract extension with New Zealand Cricket (NZC).
The Black Caps skipper is now certain to lead his side in the ICC World T20 next year, which will be held in India from March, as well as in the upcoming home and away series against Australia, that will take place at the end of this year.
The fifth-ranked T20 batsman in the ICC rankings has also signed a three-year contract with Big Bash League (BBL) side Brisbane Heat, where he will link up with former Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori, who mentors the side.
However, the 33-year-old, who led his side to a maiden Cricket World Cup final in March -- against trans-Tasman rivals Australia -- will skip the limited-overs tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa in August this year owing to the fact that he's had an "intense period of cricket dating back to the World Cup," according to the NZC release.
Looking ahead to leading his nation for one more term, McCullum has mentioned that there are some real challenges lying ahead for the Black Caps, and they need to make constant progress.
"It's a critical time for the team," he said. "We've had a very good past 18 months but we've got some real challenges ahead of us and we need to keep making progress.
"This is a young, emerging side with some very big series on the horizon and it's a really exciting time to be involved."
The former Kolkata Knight Riders slugger, who currently plays for IPL side Chennai Super Kings, was unsure about his future last year following the tiring tour of England, and he cited that he is struggling with a long-standing back injury.
However, McCullum, the first New Zealand cricketer to score a triple hundred in Test cricket (302 against India in February 2014), has cleared all doubts about his career as he signed the contract extension.
The development has come as welcome news for all the cricket fans, as well as NZC chief executive David White, who believes McCullum's experience and his aggressive brand of cricket will help the team progress further.
"Under Brendon, the Black Caps have enjoyed unprecedented success over the past 18 months. To have him remaining at the helm for another year is extremely good news," White said.
"Brendon has proved himself to be an exceptional player and leader and the side will be much stronger for his presence."
McCullum was appointed the skipper of New Zealand in late 2012.