Hesson to step down as Black Caps coach
It has been announced that Mike Hesson will resign as coach of the New Zealand men’s team effective from July 31 of this year.
The man who helped steer the Black Caps to new heights in all three formats, has decided to step down from the head-coaching role in order to take a break from the rigours of international cricket, and to spend more time with his wife and children.
After six successful years in the role, Hesson said he no longer felt confident of fully committing to the role for another twelve months, and thought it better to make the decision now rather than later.
“This job requires 100 percent commitment and is all consuming,” he said. “I know what’s required over the next 12 months, but if I’m honest, I don’t feel I have the capacity to give the job what it deserves.
“NZC, in particular David White and the board, have given me incredible support, including flexibility and options. But the idea of missing a match, a tour or a format, as has been proposed at different times, has never sat well with me.”
Hesson said there was a long list of people he would be thanking over coming days and weeks but that, at this moment, he wanted to make special mention of two groups of people very close to his heart.
“I couldn’t let this opportunity pass without acknowledging my wife Kate and our daughters Holly and Charlie, who have sacrificed so much for me over the past six years.
“And I just want to place on record my gratitude to all the players and support staff.
“I love the team and have great hopes about what they will be able to achieve. I’ll always be a supporter.”
Hesson was at pains to emphasise he had not accepted a position with another employer or team, and that his motivation for standing down was based purely on a need to pause and refresh after six hectic years, and to play a closer role within his family.
NZC chief executive David White said NZC supported Hesson’s decision and understood the basis for it – but was still sad to see him step down.
“I tried to persuade him to stay on for another 12 months but his mind was made up,” said Mr White. “We understand his position.
“Mike has overseen one of NZC’s most successful periods of international cricket, he’s more than realised the potential we saw in him back in 2012, and has grown into one of the most respected coaches on the international circuit.
“At the same time, he’s carried a torch for coaches in all sports, demonstrating through his success that top-level coaching is not exclusively or necessarily the domain of former star players.”
Mr White said that, as Hesson’s contract was due to expire at the end of next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, NZC’s planning was already well-advanced.
“The recruitment process will commence shortly. We have a resourceful and well-respected captain; the leadership team within the squad is strong, and the support staff is very experienced.
“We think it’s important the successful candidate or candidates complement(s) the existing environment.”
New Zealand’s next assignment is the series against Pakistan, in the United Arab Emirates, in October-November.
Black Caps’ captain Kane Williamson said Hesson would be remembered as a selfless coach, and someone who extracted the maximum potential from his teams.
“Mike exemplified the “team-first” attitude he himself talked about and left no stone unturned in terms of leading the side to success,” said Williamson.
“I’ve witnessed his work-ethic first-hand and have seen the sacrifices he’s made, and I can only say I have the utmost respect for what he’s achieved.”
Former captain Brendon McCullum said Hesson’s progressive approach to coaching, and expert team management was a key factor behind the side’s renaissance over the past five or six years.
“We remember the 2015 World Cup as a great time for New Zealand and Mike should be recognised for the huge part he played in that,” said McCullum.
“His meticulous planning and eye for detail gave us our best chance of success and he can be proud of what he helped the team achieve.
“Personally, I regard him as the best coach the Black Caps have ever had.”