Hesson set to spend up large at auction

Mike Hesson
Mike Hesson
Former Black Caps and Otago coach Mike Hesson will get to spend about $7 million in two days next month.

None of it is going on Christmas presents either, so he can probably expect the smallest slice of turkey on the big day.

The 44-year-old is blowing all that money on some of the world’s best cricketers.

It is all part of the fun when you are an India Premier League (IPL) coach.

Hesson, who lives in Dunedin, was named as the Kings XI Punjab coach last month and has a pretty important couple of days coming up.

The IPL auction will be held on December 17 and 18 and Hesson has laid the groundwork for a big spend-up.

The team released 12 players this week, including India’s 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh and Australian limited-overs captain Aaron Finch.

Despite all the cash which gets splashed about, it can be a ruthless business. Since inking his deal, Hesson has made two trips over to India to meet and greet and also make those tough calls on who to retain and who to release.

"It has been pretty intense. It started pretty much straight away with having to get over there for trials and board meetings and so forth," Hesson said.

"There is plenty to do."

Hesson described the IPL as unique "in terms of how players come and go". In his previous roles with Otago and the Black Caps he was loyal to his players. But the IPL is a different beast.

"There is a lot to consider with the World Cup and some players not available for the whole tournament. And obviously when new coaches come on board they have a new perspective as well.

"But you are right, it is a very different environment but I’m certainly looking forward to the auction and seeing how that unfolds."

Hesson said it was his role to pick the roster of players.

"We’ve kept the nucleus of the players that we think will play a part this year and next.

"It also frees up some money to be able to spend at the auction."

Hesson would not be drawn on whether he might be lining up some New Zealanders to fill the newly created vacancies.

The Kings XI have 36 crore  (about $NZ7.3 million) left to spend.

"The final budget will be decided by the board but that is what is left in the purse.

"It will be a very, very competitive environment and obviously we’ve done lots of research.

"There is a huge amount of work which goes into any auction and there are a number of different people in terms of analysts who will have an input. But ultimately, as a coach, you’ve got a big say in the types of players you want."

The 2019 tournament starts on March 23 but it is unclear where it will be held due to the Indian general elections. There have been reports it could be held in South Africa or the United Arab Emirates due to the  elections.

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