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Mike Hesson named New Zealand coach

Brydon Coverdale

July 20, 2012

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Mike Hesson has been named New Zealand's new head coach, Auckland, July 20, 2012
Mike Hesson will take over from John Wright © Getty Images
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Mike Hesson has been confirmed as the new head coach of New Zealand and has been handed a contract until the end of the 2015 World Cup. Hesson, 37, previously spent six years in charge of Otago and took over as Kenya's head coach after last year's World Cup, but quit after 10 months in the role due to concerns over the safety of his family and their quality of life in Kenya.

He beat the Glamorgan mentor and former New South Wales coach Matthew Mott for the role, while the New Zealand and Delhi Daredevils assistant Trent Woodhill also missed out. John Wright will remain in charge until the end of the ongoing tour of the West Indies and Hesson's first tour with the squad will be the upcoming trip to India, which begins with a Test in Hyderabad on August 23.

He will become New Zealand's fifth coach in less than four years. John Bracewell stood down in December 2008 and his successor Andy Moles lasted barely a year. Mark Greatbatch then took over in January 2010 before being replaced by Wright, who spent 16 months in the job before deciding not to renew his contract beyond this year's Caribbean tour.

Wright cited differences with John Buchanan, New Zealand Cricket's director of cricket, as one of the reasons he had decided not to continue in the role. Buchanan said Hesson would bring a fresh approach and new energy to the New Zealand side.

"We were impressed with the way Mike presented himself and he was the stand-out applicant from a strong field of candidates," Buchanan said. "Mike has been a successful first-class coach with the Otago team in recent years and has also had valuable experience working with New Zealand A sides. He also spent some time assisting the Black Caps coaching staff during the 2010 Chappell-Hadlee Series and we're fortunate to have secured his services for the national team.

"Mike's impressive career path also includes the SportNZ Elite Coach Accelerator Programme where he not only had the honour of being selected for the programme, but finished as one of the highly commended participants. He will bring a freshness and new energy to the side and we know he is more than capable of developing and growing the team as we work towards the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015."

Mike Hesson's career at a glance

  • Started his coaching career at the age of 22
  • Served as director for Otago Cricket between 1998 and 2004
  • Appointed as the national coach for Argentina
  • Became head coach for Otago between 2005-06 and 2010-11 during which they won a one-day and a T20 title
  • Served as Kenya national coach for 10 months from 2011 to 2012 during which the team managed only one win in nine matches
  • Contracted as New Zealand's head coach till the end of 2015 World Cup

As a player, Hesson represented Otago's second XI but did not reach first-class level, and focused on coaching from a young age. In 1998 he became the youngest person to attain NZC's level three coaching qualification and from 1998 to 2004 he was the coaching director for Otago Cricket, before he took over as the national coach of Argentina.

From 2005-06 until 2010-11 he was the head coach of Otago and delivered them a one-day title and a Twenty20 title, and during that time he also served as the head coach of New Zealand A. David White, the chief executive of NZC, said Hesson had all the right coaching credentials to be successful in the job.

"He was earmarked early in his career as one of the most talented coaches in New Zealand and it's pleasing to be providing an opportunity to someone who is so deserving," White said. "Mike is highly regarded by his peers, the players he has worked with and the wider family of cricket and I believe he is exactly what the Black Caps need as we look to move our team forward."

Hesson will be taking over a side that sits seventh on the ICC Test rankings, as they stand before the West Indies series, and eighth in the ODI rankings. One of his early challenges will be to guide the side through the ICC World Twenty20; New Zealand are sixth on the ICC T20 rankings but failed to move beyond the group stages in the past two World T20 events.

"Having the opportunity to coach the Black Caps is very special for me," Hesson said. "I am passionate about cricket in New Zealand and doing the best job I can for the players and the fans of cricket in this country. My coaching philosophy is essentially built around setting world-class standards to produce excellence and that's what I intend to do with the Black Caps. It's a big challenge but one I'm ready for and excited about."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Min2000 on (July 21, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

Mike Hesson is likely a caretaker coach while NZC searches for a better option. The selectors need to help the guy out and pick the best players - get Ryder back in the side, get everyone fit. In a NZ cricket context, having players like BJ Watling, Guptill, Ryder, Taylor, Williamson, Franklin, McCullum, Vettori, Bracewell, Wagner, Martin, Nethula, Southee... thats a decent squad to develop and build on.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

I'm glad Bangladesh have a better and more experienced coach lol New Zealand :)

Posted by shooting on (July 20, 2012, 22:32 GMT)

Hopefully this guy does alright. New Zealand are probably the hardest team to coach because we all know the talent is there, we are just in need of someone to know how to teach them application. First thing I'd be getting throughtheir heads is endurance, even if that means running in the outback of Australia for 8hours straight. At the end of the day, we can only expect average coaches for average teams. Buchanan should be shown the doorway that's for sure.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

he has not played any cricket.still coachin international side ? how

Posted by Sree_007 on (July 20, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Hi, My Name is Thota Sreenivas from Kenya and i am also involved with Kenyan Cricket and i worked with him. i really enjoyed working with him though its very short time, i can surely tell he is very talented and impressive coach. Hope he will prove that with New Zealand team. All the best to him.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

While Buchanan is still there, NZ won't improve because he's a crazy guy with his own stupid ideas. NZC should have removed him. They let go of one of the best coaches in John Wright for some Aussie madman. Anyway good luck to this guy Michael Hesson.

Posted by 512fm on (July 20, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Things are only going to get worse with this guy in charge, hes best mates with mccullum, vettori and the lot of them. So the result is more player power - exactly what we don't need right now.

Posted by amclean on (July 20, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

I'd forgotten about Mike Hesson's international experience with Argentina when I commented a few days ago. Outstanding credentials!!

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (July 20, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

Talented coach??????????? What does that mean?

Posted by   on (July 20, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

Mike Who? he won't last long.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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