Mike Hesson to step down as New Zealand coach


After six years in charge, and with a year still to go in his contract, New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson announced on Thursday (May 7) that he will step down at the end of July, to take a break from the rigours of international cricket, to spend more time with his wife and children.

“This job requires 100 percent commitment and is all consuming,” Hesson 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.

“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,” he added.

New Zealand Cricket’s chief executive David White said that while he had tried to persuade Hesson to see his contract through, which ran through the end of the World Cup next year, he understood the 43-year-old’s decision.

“I tried to persuade him to stay on for another 12 months but his mind was made up,” said 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,” he added.

Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, was effusive in his praise for Hesson, describing him as a selfless coach, under whom New Zealand scaled new heights across formats. “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.”

Under Hesson, New Zealand made the World Cup final against Australia in 2015 that they eventually lost and even registered a record 13-match winning streak across formats at home last year. In April, they won their first-ever Test series over England since 1999, which had them at third spot in the Test rankings for a brief period. Under Hesson, who took over reigns in August 2012, New Zealand won 21 of their 53 Tests, losing 19; won 65 of their 119 ODIs with 46 losses, and won 30 of their 59 Twenty20 Internationals, with 24 losses.

New Zealand’s next international assignment is only in October when they take on Pakistan in a tour to the UAE.