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Hesson stepping down as New Zealand coach

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Hesson stepping down as New Zealand coach

Wellington, June 7 (IANS) Less than a year to the 2019 ICC World Cup, New Zealand coach Mike Hesson on Thursday announced his decision to step down from his post, effective from July 31.

Hesson, who steered the Kiwis to new heights in all three formats, said he wanted to take a break from the rigours of international cricket and spend more time with his wife and children.

“This job requires 100 percent commitment and is all consuming,” said Hesson, who led the Blackcaps to the final of the 2015 edition before losing to eventual champions Australia.

“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,” added Hesson, whose contract was due to expire at the end of the 2019 World Cup.

Hesson also made a special mention of two groups of people very close to his heart.

“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 said.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said the board supported Hesson’s decision and understood the basis for it but was still sad to see him step down.

“I tried to persuade him to stay on for another 12 months but his mind was made up. We understand his position,” White said in a statement.

“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.

The NZC chief also said that the hunt for Hesson’s successor is on even as the Kane Williamson-led side’s next assignment is the series against Pakistan, in the United Arab Emirates, in October-November.

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