Hes­son set to re­place Lehmann which may point to new pitches for NZ coach

The New Zealand Herald - - Super Sport - An­drew Alder­son

Mike Hes­son is ex­pected to re­place Dar­ren Lehmann as the coach­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil’s cricket com­mit­tee.

The de­ci­sion is yet to be con­firmed by the ICC, but the Her­ald un­der­stands it is im­mi­nent.

The role ef­fec­tively be­came va­cant when Lehmann re­signed as Aus­tralia’s coach af­ter the ball­tam­per­ing af­fair in South Africa.

The com­mit­tee is charged with ad­vis­ing the ICC’s chief ex­ec­u­tives on is­sues such as the laws of the game, play­ing con­di­tions, the use of de­ci­sion-mak­ing tech­nol­ogy and reg­u­la­tions sur­round­ing il­le­gal bowl­ing ac­tions.

If se­lected, Hes­son would be one of three non-test play­ing re­cruits.

Any such move might also hint new hori­zons loom for the New Zealand coach.

He is con­tracted un­til the end of the 2019 World Cup in Eng­land.

By then Hes­son will have spent seven years in a job where New Zealand’s home-and-away com­pet­i­tive­ness and consistency have reached a rare al­ti­tude.

It seems no co­in­ci­dence the coun­try’s three long­est win­ning streaks across all for­mats have come within the last three years.

He has over­seen his team’s suc­cess by ap­ply­ing a saber­met­rics and hu­mil­ity-driven cul­ture.

Hes­son is al­ready New Zealand’s long­est serv­ing coach with a ten­ure of five years and nine months. He has seven months more on the clock than John Bracewell from 2003 to 2008.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions over any po­ten­tial re­sign­ing re­main on­go­ing.

Time is on the side of both par­ties, but an or­gan­ised suc­ces­sion plan is prefer­able to a post-World Cup panic.

A 2019 Box­ing Day test in Mel-

bourne and a 2020 World T20 in Aus­tralia could be in­cen­tives to re­claim Hes­son’s sig­na­ture.

How­ever, logic sug­gests that with a young fam­ily he might opt for sea­sonal work, fol­low­ing the path trod­den by the likes of for­mer New Zealand bowl­ing coach Shane Bond.

One year it was es­ti­mated Hes­son spent more than 300 days away from home. One to two-month post­ings in the T20 leagues of In­dia, Aus­tralia, Eng­land or the Caribbean could pro­vide a wel­come al­ter­na­tive in the form of sig­nif­i­cant in­come streams and less nights in ho­tel beds.

Hes­son also de­buted as an an­a­lyst on Star Sports dur­ing the cur­rent In­dian Premier League and won plau­dits — and vi­ral so­cial me­dia post­ings — for his stu­dio pre­sen­ta­tions on how to de­fend against Kane Wil­liamson and by crack­ing a whip to de­con­struct In­dian bats­man Robin Uthappa’s fail­ure to ex­e­cute the pull shot. It made a wel­come change from tele­vi­sion com­men­tary’s pen­chant for in-jokes and one-up­man­ship.

A fur­ther com­pli­ca­tion awaits if Hes­son ex­its.

Black Caps bat­ting coach Craig McMil­lan, strength and con­di­tion­ing coach Chris Don­ald­son and man­ager Mike San­dle also signed en bloc in May 2016 through un­til the World Cup.

A new coach would pre­sum­ably need to be found be­fore any sup­port staff are signed around them. That might take some time.

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