Hessons Kiwi job elicits mixed reactions in Kenya
New Zealand Cricket have unveiled immediate former Kenyan coach Mike Hesson as their new national coach. Hesson, who coached Kenya for only eight months before returning to his native country citing Kenyan insecurity as the reason for his decision to leave, has signed a deal that will put him in charge until the end of the 2015 World Cup. His first assignment will be to take the Black Caps to India for a series of matches after the completion of their current tour of the West Indies.
However his appointment has raised mixed reactions among Kenyan cricketers with former captain Jimmy Kamande saying his appointment was proof that he had never had Kenyan cricket at heart. “Mike knew very well that he was a top contender in the coaching post after the post became vacant. He knew that his future was brighter coaching in New Zealand than Kenya that is why he left the way he did,”
Kamande added that Hesson’s reasons for resigning has affected Kenya’s cricket. “He cited insecurity. He however, did not record a statement and left our game in tatters. Nobody wants to visit Kenya for cricket because of his sentiments,” he added. After his resignation in May, ICC postponed the Intercontinental Cup match against Namibia due to fears of insecurity in the country.
While in Kenya, Hesson failed to lead the team to a great levels, failingd to win matches against Associate Nations and failed to qualify to this year’s T20 World Cup. Former national team captain Maurice Odumbe said Hessons’s appointment by a Test playing nation like New Zealand was an indication he is a good coach. But he said he failed to deliver in Kenya because he did not get good structures to work with. “Having landed the opportunity to coach such a team shows that he is a good coach but he just didn’t get a platform to work from. I believe had we had good structures, the story would have been different. We wouldn’t be talking so much on his failures.
Before moving to Kenya, Hesson had been a successful first-class coach with the Otago team and has also had valuable experience working with New Zealand “A” sides. He also spent some time assisting the Black Caps coaching staff during the 2010 Chappell Hadlee Series.