By Otago Daily Times | Posted: Thursday August 2, 2018
Black Caps coach Mike Hesson finished his six-year stint with the national side yesterday. But before he packed away his almanacks, notes and pencils, he caught up with cricket writer Adrian Seconi to discuss his future plans.
Newly-minted former Black Caps coach Mike Hesson is too invested in cricket to walk away from the game.
He had his last day in the role yesterday but will pop up somewhere — probably India — and continue his impressive coaching career.
The 43-year-old will be doing some public speaking as well, and he has established a consultancy business with his wife, Kate, who is a lawyer.He is also back on the grocery roster and looking forward to spending more time with his daughters, Holly (11) and Charlie (7).
He certainly will not be sitting around on the couch. Even money says his cellphone will always be within close reach and he will be on top of all the latest developments in the game.
The former Otago Volts coach is a superbly organised character and his meticulous planning has been a trademark during his time with both sides.Hesson still loves the job dearly but after six years in the top gig he realised he did not have the energy to go through another World Cup campaign.
"The job is all consuming. It is not a job that you only work when you are on tour. There is a lot of work done behind the scenes.
"I guess it is like any job where you have a leadership role: you think about it all the time. It is not like you can switch on and off.
"I’m sure, over the last few years, I would have been a pain to live with because, even though you are physically at home, mentally you might not be there, and focusing on what tour you are heading on next.
"Your brain is always ticking, so it will just be nice to free things up a little bit," he said.
Hesson decided to step aside while there was still enough time for his replacement to prepare for the tournament.
He will be keeping busy, but artfully dodged the obvious question of whether he would be heading to India for the next instalment of the IPL.
"I’m doing the odd speaking engagement but I’m just diversifying and doing a few things which will come out in due course," he said, adding his role in the consultancy business would be pursuing the link between business and sport and "how team culture is applicable".
"I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few businesses over the last few years anyway and hopefully that will continue.
"But I will be doing some broadcasting and coaching, and hopefully some mentoring as well. I’m just sort of working through the details of that at the moment."
We will have to wait and see whether India is in his future but he has already done some commentary over there, where his analysis proved both insightful and witty.
His piece on where to position the field when Kane Williamson is batting is a great example of his dry wit and most certainly worth a view on the internet.
While Hesson leaves the role having left most cricket fans with a positive impression, initially he struggled to gain the respect of the public.
He came into the role virtually unknown outside of Dunedin, and the fact he had not played cricket at the elite level really bothered some critics.
The fallout following the axing of Ross Taylor as captain was a particularly brutal time. Some of the criticism directed at Hesson was just foul.
He showed the sort of tenacity not always evident at the top of the New Zealand test order and gradually won back public support.
The World Cup run in 2015, when New Zealand made it through to the final, was a real highlight.
The spirit the side played with and the audacious game plan it employed captured the public’s imagination.
Hesson was able to keep a level head through the triumphs and tribulations and quickly came to the realisation there would always be knockers.
"One of the first things you learn is, even if you win all your games, there is still 25% of the people who think you are rubbish.
"But initially I thought ‘if we can turn this team around, and start doing well, then everyone will get behind the team’.
"Once you work that out, you just refer back to what your job is and what it is you are trying to do. There are people who you trust and respect and there are others who, while you appreciate they might have an opinion, you don’t let sway you."
His advice to his eventual replacement is to be themselves, observe what is going on and take a bit of time to understand the environment before putting their stamp on the role.
Hesson looks forward to watching the Black Caps progress. He feels he has left the team in good heart and in a strong position to press at next year’s World Cup.
"I think the team is in a really good space and I think they’re going to do well.
"There is a lot of really good people in that group. The support staff is really stable moving forward, so it is not a huge change.
"I think England, New Zealand and India are probably three sides at the moment that are playing good cricket, and Pakistan as well. Those four sides are the ones that are at the top of their game in one-day cricket."