Mike Hesson's left an indelible legacy as the New Zealand cricket coach.

When he finishes on July 31, the 43-year-old will have spent six years in charge of the Black Caps.

Cricket coaching is what he wanted to do when he left school, and he's realised that ambition at the highest level, stepping through the ranks of Argentina, Kenya and Otago on the way.

The country's home-and-away competitiveness and consistency reached a rare altitude during his tenure.


New Zealand's first World Cup final appearance in 2015, alongside an unprecedented seven successive undefeated test series (2013-2015) and a record-equalling 13 undefeated tests at home (2012-2016) occurred under his watch.

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 - have come within the last three years.

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

Hesson is already New Zealand's longest serving coach extending beyond John Bracewell's five years and two months in charge from 2003 to 2008.

He was contracted until the end of the 2019 World Cup in England, so establishing an organised succession plan leading to that tournament and beyond will be a tricky proposition.

In terms of continuity, Black Caps batting coach Craig McMillan, strength and conditioning coach Chris Donaldson and manager Mike Sandle were signed en bloc in May 2016 through until the World Cup.

Logic suggests that with a young family, Hesson might opt for seasonal work, following the path trodden by the likes of former New Zealand bowling coach Shane Bond.

One year it was estimated he spent more than 300 days away from home. One to two-month postings in the T20 leagues of India, Australia, England or the Caribbean could provide a welcome alternative in the form of significant income streams and less nights in hotel beds.


Hesson also debuted as an analyst on Star Sports during the current Indian Premier League and won plaudits - and viral social media postings - for his studio presentations on how to defend against Kane Williamson and by cracking a whip to deconstruct Indian batsman Robin Uthappa's failure to execute the pull shot. It made a welcome change from television commentary's penchant for in-jokes and one-upmanship.

Hesson also replaced Darren Lehmann as the coaching representative on the International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee. His appointment suggested he was held in the utmost regard by the sport's governing body.

The committee is charged with advising the ICC's chief executives on issues such as the laws of the game, playing conditions, the use of decision-making technology and regulations surrounding illegal bowling actions.

However, he has resigned immediately from that role because an active international coach is required.

Hesson's era in charge – supported by a core of outstanding players - has drawn comparisons with the Richard Hadlee-inspired 1980s.

His teams played 53 tests, won 21, lost 19 and drawn 13. By generic comparison, the 1980s had 59 tests, of which 17 were won, 15 lost and 27 drawn.

In completed ODIs, Hesson has overseen 112 for 65 wins, 46 losses and a tie; the 1980s results were 122 played, 56 won and 66 lost.

His wife Kate and daughters Holly and Charlie will be hoping dad spends more time at home in Dunedin.

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 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.

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.