Aquestion looms for New Zealand Cricket in the coming months. Can they convince Black Caps coach Mike Hesson to re-sign beyond the 2019 World Cup in England?

A Boxing Day test in Melbourne later that year and a 2020 World Twenty20 in Australia could be incentives to claim his signature.

However, by then he will have spent seven years in a job where New Zealand's home-and-away competitiveness and consistency have reached a rare altitude.

From Hesson's perspective, it is understandable he might seek change.


He has overseen his team's success by applying a sabermetrics and humility-driven culture.

New Zealand's first World Cup final appearance in 2015, alongside an unprecedented seven successive undefeated test series (2013-15) and a record-equalling 13 undefeated tests at home (2012-16) are among the highlights.

It seems no coincidence the country's three longest winning streaks across all formats — including the 13-match sequence which ended during the T20 series against Pakistan — came under Hesson's watch in the past three years.

The era has drawn comparisons with the Richard Hadlee-inspired 1980s.

Hesson's team have played 51 tests, won 20, lost 19 and drawn 12. By generic comparison, the 1980s had 59 tests, of which 17 were won, 15 lost and 27 drawn.

In completed ODIs, Hesson has overseen 107 for 63 wins, 43 losses and a tie; the 1980s results were 122 played, 56 won and 66 lost.

His wife Kate and daughters Holly, 11, and Charlie, 7, will be hoping dad can spend more time at home in Dunedin.

One year, it was estimated he spent more than 300 days away.

Add the prospect of one or two Twenty20 coaching gigs — perhaps in the Indian Premier League or Big Bash League — and the income would keep flowing while reducing the nights spent in hotel beds.

Alternatively, he could seek an English county contract for a longer period, but that might be contrary to any homebody ambitions.

Time is on the side of both parties, but an organised succession plan is better than a post-World Cup panic.

Hesson's tenure is five years and five months so far, making him New Zealand's longest-serving coach, with three months more on the clock than John Bracewell from 2003 to 2008.

If the Hesson era ends, a debate will ensue over the next appointment. Should NZC look overseas for the best candidate, or does a home-grown coach deserve an opportunity?

The Hesson tenure has provided the stability to groom coaches on the domestic scene, plus a number have spent time in the national set-up to witness the job demands first-hand.

Craig McMillan looms as an obvious contender, having been in an assistant role since the West Indies tour in 2014.

A host of major association mentors could also make a case. Of the incumbents, Gary Stead (Canterbury), Mark O'Donnell (Auckland), Heinrich Malan (Central Districts), former national selector Bruce Edgar (Wellington) and Gareth Hopkins (in his first T20 attempt with Northern Districts) have each won domestic titles.

A further complication awaits if Hesson exits.

McMillan, manager Mike Sandle and strength and conditioning coach Chris Donaldson signed en bloc in May 2016 through until the World Cup.

A new coach would presumably need to be found before any support staff are signed around them. That might take some time.