New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum announced his retirement from international cricket in Christchruch on Tuesday. 

McCullum wanted to wait until his last Test for the Black Caps -- against Australia starting from 20 February -- but he decided to reveal his decision to retire from international cricket because of squad selection process for the ICC World T20 2016 in India. 

"Ideally, I would have preferred to wait until after the ANZ Test in Christchurch to make this news public. However, the schedule for naming the ICC World T20 squads means I could not have managed this without causing a lot of confusion and speculation - something I was keen to avoid," McCullum told reporters at a press conference in Christchurch on Tuesday. 

"I've loved my opportunity to play for and captain the Black Caps, but all good things have to come to an end, and I'm just grateful for the wonderful experience of playing for my country. There's a time and place for reflection, and that's at the end of your career.

"For now, I'll be giving all my attention to helping the team focus on what's coming up over the next few weeks – and making sure we're in the best possible shape for what's going to be a very challenging summer."

The 34-year-old New Zealand batsman has scored 6,273 runs in his 99 Tests at an average of 38.48. He also has 11 centuries to his name in his Test career. He is the second highest run scorer for New Zealand in the longest format of the game, behind Stephen Fleming. 

In the 50-over format, McCullum has notched up 5,909 runs at an average of 30.30. He has played 254 ODIs fro the Black Caps. In the shortest format -- the T20s -- the Kiwi skipper has managed to score 2,140 runs at 35.66 in 71 matches. 

"Given the questions likely to be raised when the ICC World T20 squad is announced, it was thought better to be up front and explain the situation now," New Zealand cricket chief David White told at the press conference on Tuesday. 

"We'll celebrate Brendon's wonderful contribution to New Zealand and world cricket at the end of the season. For now, we want to help him prepare for the upcoming seven weeks with the minimum of distractions."

McCullum will become the first cricketer in the history of the game to play 100 successive Test matches when he will lead his side against Australia in the first Test match at Wellington on 12 February.