If there's another Mike Hesson floating about the cricketing world, New Zealand's governing body would like to meet you.

The Black Caps head coach role has been advertised.

Traditional demands for "massive enthusiasm", "an ability to operate ethically" and "a growth-mindset which can embrace change" could be summed up as: The Hunt For Hesson Mark II.

The "applicant" is spoken about in the singular across the classified, so presumably the role will not be split between formats.


An "if it ain't broke" approach is perfectly logical, like Noel Donaldson taking over the rowing men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray ahead of the Rio Olympics, or Steve Hansen inheriting the 2011 World Cup-winning All Blacks from Sir Graham Henry.

Why adjust a system which has brought one of the country's most successful eras?

When Hesson exits on July 31, the 43-year-old will have spent six years in charge.

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.

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

The selection panel is expected to comprise the likes of chief executive David White, high performance boss Bryan Stronach (who the new coach would report to), a board member and an independent cricket identity. Consultation is expected with the Players' Association and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who will work closest of all with Hesson's successor.

Regardless of the outcome, the panel cannot afford to straitjacket a successful applicant into the Hesson mould.


Strategic imperatives are mentioned exhaustively in the job description, but that should not curb flair.

Much of the focus to date has been on a local fulfilling the role.

The Hesson tenure provided the stability from which 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.

A host of major association mentors could 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.

However, expect the world to be scoured for talent if it means getting the best possible candidate in the circumstances.

Names like Mickey Arthur, Grant Bradburn, Jason Gillespie, Gary Kirsten and Tom Moody spring to mind, although they might need to exercise out-clauses from current contracts.

Applications close on July 15.