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Hesson staying on as Black Caps coach

NZN 26/05/2016

Mike Hesson has been labelled the best coach and selector in New Zealand cricket history after adding three more years to his Black Caps contract.

Hesson and three key support staff have been retained through to the 2019 World Cup, signing long-term contracts which NZC chief executive David White says are warranted.

Batting coach Craig McMillan, strength and conditioning coach Chris Donaldson and manager Mike Sandle have also been retained.

White says their retention is vital for the team's stability and succession planning.

He praised the emergence and potential of McMillan and described Sandle and Donaldson as leaders in their field but reserved special praise for 41-year-old Hesson, who was a relative unknown when he replaced John Wright in 2012.

"Mike's the most successful coach in New Zealand cricket history and, in my opinion, the best selector we've ever had," White said.

"To have him committed to the Black Caps until after the next world cup is great news for all concerned."

Hesson has helped lift the Black Caps' Test world ranking to fifth and guided them to a World Cup final and World Twenty20 semi-final in the last two years.

They are ranked No.1 for T20 cricket and second in the ODI table.

After coaching Otago at domestic level, Hesson took up a short-lived post as Kenya national coach.

He was embroiled in a public relations war soon after starting with the Black Caps.

He replaced Ross Taylor as captain with Brendon McCullum, believing change was needed to end several years of substandard results.

It prompted disgruntlement from Taylor and a backlash from cricket followers and some commentators.

Results have vindicated Hesson's methods with McCullum regarded as one of New Zealand's best captains upon retiring this year.

Hesson appointed Kane Williamson as the new skipper and says he is excited by the challenge of the next three years.

"Being around a group which works together and is striving to head in the same direction is extremely rewarding," he said.

"It's a privilege to be a part of the Black Caps culture and I feel lucky to be able to contribute to that for a little bit longer."

Hesson expects Williamson to introduce changes to how New Zealand play and says he will have the best chance to do that under a stable coaching regime.

New Zealand's next assignment is a tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa from July.

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