Mike Hesson appointed Kenya coach
Mike Hesson, the former Otago Volts and New Zealand A coach, has been appointed the new coach of the Kenyan team for a two-year term. Hesson, 36, will fill the position vacated by Eldine Baptiste, who had stepped down after Kenya's poor 2011 World Cup campaign.
Cricket Kenya had conducted a performance review after the World Cup and chief executive Tom Sears had said there would be an extensive recruitment process to find a new coach. The result of that search was Hesson, who has been involved with coaching in Otago since 1996.
Kenya lost all six group matches during the World Cup and a complete shake-up of the team followed, with captain Jimmy Kamande being sacked and several senior players missing out on central contracts, in addition to Baptiste's resignation. They then lost six out of nine matches in the ICC Africa Region Division One Twenty20, albeit with a very young side.
Hesson joins Kenya after a six-year spell as coach of Otago Volts, during which the team won the State Shield, the domestic 50-over competition in 2007-08 and the State Twenty20 in 2008-09. Hesson also coached New Zealand A, the New Zealand Emerging Players squad and spent time with Gloucestershire as an assistant coach.
His first assignment with Kenya will be to prepare the side for the upcoming Intercontinental Cup matches against United Arab Emirates that start on July 25 in Nairobi. Kenya will play UAE in two one-day matches and a four-day game.
"Mike has an excellent record of developing players and successful teams, and throughout the selection process [he] demonstrated a real desire and clear vision to take our national team forward," Sears said. "As well as being a highly-skilled technical coach, he is an excellent communicator, something crucial to the role."
Hesson said he was attracted to the job by the clear drive Cricket Kenya had to revive the national team after recent disappointments. "Having spoken with Cricket Kenya's key stakeholders during the selection process I was stimulated by the passion shown to drive Kenyan cricket forward. I am very much looking forward to this exciting new opportunity and working with the undoubted talent there is within Kenya."