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Hesson proud of Black Caps' T20 campaign

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/03/2016

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has come way from the World Twenty20 proud of his players' performance and philosophical about their semi-final defeat.

In their first loss of the tournament, the Black Caps fell by seven wickets to England, who chased down a target of 154 with 17 balls to spare in Delhi.

"It's an excellent campaign," Hesson said.

"It hasn't finished the way we would have liked. We have to accept that England played better than us and thoroughly deserved their win. That's sport."

Hesson said all 15 players in the squad had contributed during the tournament.

That included the likes of frontline seamers Tim Southee and Trent Boult, neither of whom got game time on India's slow wickets.

"I think a lot has been said that Tim and Trent haven't played, but they played a really important role for us working with the other bowlers and at training and everything," Hesson said.

"I just think everybody in the squad has made a contribution through a pretty tough couple of weeks, so very proud of the crew."

The tournament marked the end of allrounder Nathan McCullum's New Zealand career, a month after younger brother and Black Caps skipper Brendon played his last match for his country.

McCullum, 35, announced in October he would retire from international cricket at the end of the season.

He made his Black Caps debut in 2007 and appeared in 63 T20s, the last two being the World T20 pool wins over India and Bangladesh, and 84 one-dayers.

Hesson described McCullum as a fighter.

"He's eked out every little bit of performance over the years and he's certainly a guy that the guys all love playing with," he said.

"He wears his heart on his sleeve and he gives everything. We're going to miss him, but he has certainly made a major contribution to New Zealand cricket."

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