Mike exemplified the 'team-first' attitude

Mike Hesson gets emotional during a New Zealand Cricket press conference in Auckland yesterday....
Mike Hesson gets emotional during a New Zealand Cricket press conference in Auckland yesterday. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Mike Hesson announced his resignation from the Black Caps coaching role yesterday. The Otago Daily Times looks at the reaction to his departure. 

Ross Dykes

Former Otago cricket chief executive

"I always thought he'd do very well. But I think he exceeded most people's expectations, including his own, because he was extraordinarily successful.

"It was no fluke, really. His planning was thorough and he was loyal and he was sort of constant in everything he did.

"He never flew off on any tangent and I think that gave everyone a lot of confidence, certainly the players.

" ... I don't think he could have left them any better, to be fair.

"They're playing good cricket, their rankings endorse that.

"But perhaps the greatest thing he's left them with is their reputation for fair but hard cricket.

"They've set the benchmark in terms of on-field and off-field discipline and respect and that's largely due to Mike.

"I know a lot of people contribute to it, but I think that's the stamp he's left on this Black Caps side. I think more than leaving it on the Black Caps, he's almost left it on world cricket."

Brendon McCullum

Former Otago and Black Caps captain

"We remember the 2015 World Cup as a great time for New Zealand and Mike should be recognised for the huge part he played in that.

"His meticulous planning and eye for detail gave us our best chance of success and he can be proud of what he helped the team achieve.

"Personally, I regard him as the best coach the Black Caps have ever had."

Kane Williamson

Black Caps captain

"Mike exemplified the `team-first' attitude he himself talked about and left no stone unturned in terms of leading the side to success.

"I've witnessed his work ethic first-hand and have seen the sacrifices he's made, and I can only say I have the utmost respect for what he's achieved."

By the numbers

2148: Days in charge.

100: Innings of test cricket at the batting crease.

21: Test wins from 55 matches - 10% higher than the overall record since 1980. He also has 21 losses and 13 draws.

320: The number of nights Mike Hesson was away from his family one year.

14: Home test wins, with eight draws and just three losses - two to Australia and one to South Africa.

54,903: Balls of test cricket played during the Hesson reign. Who else watched that many deliveries in that time?

28: The number of home losses across all formats for Hesson's Black Caps in 114 matches.

54.6: Hesson's ODI winning percentage, claiming 65 victories, 46 losses and a tie.

1: World Cup final.

The story of the Hesson era

In the beginning . . .

It was a shaky start for the Black Caps under Mike Hesson. Seven of their first eight tests - all away - were lost and only one of their first 16 was won. In the middle of that streak Ross Taylor was controversially replaced as captain by Brendon McCullum. It was a tough initiation for McCullum, too. New Zealand went to South Africa and lost the first test by an innings and 27 runs after being bowled out for 45 on the first morning.

... the rise . . .

The good news is that was as bad as it got. New Zealand proved to be a fortress for Hesson's Black Caps over the ensuing years. They developed into a world-class team and in 2014 claimed a test series win over India, McCullum scoring 302 in the drawn second test. That was followed in 2015 by a World Cup run in which the entire country got behind the team as it won its way to the final against Australia at the MCG. Let's not talk about how that one went.

... through to the end

Home continued to be good to Hesson's Black Caps, although winning away remained as tough as ever. A test series loss to Australia in 2016 was disappointing, but there was plenty to like as well. The side won two of the three Chappell-Hadlee series played, reached No1 in the world twenty20 rankings and became acknowledged globally for the spirit in which it played the game. In March, Hesson oversaw New Zealand's first home test series victory over England since 1984, the final act of an impressive tenure.

 

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