Hesson resigns from national coaching role
Posted Monday, May 7 2012 at 20:00
Kenya’s national cricket team coach, Mike Hesson on Monday handed in his resignation, citing ‘insecurity.’
Hesson’s resignation comes just a week after it was announced that Cricket Kenya CEO Tom Sears is also leaving for Ireland, having been hired by the Irish Rugby Football Union to head Connacht Rugby.
Hesson, a New Zealander who was the coach of Otago in his home country, was appointed Kenya’s national coach in July 2011 to replace West Indian Eldine Baptiste who left after Kenya’s dismal performance at the Cricket World Cup.
It was not clear what Hesson meant by ‘insecurity’ but sources within Cricket Kenya denied that it was anything to do with his relationship with current and former players who have been critical of his tactics and demeanour.
Coach’s exit was expected
“It could be something so minor. Maybe he was stuck in traffic and a miscreant knocked on his car window,” a CK official who did not wish to be named said, adding that the coach’s decision has not surprised him.
“I have always told the players that they have to take charge and be in control of the situation because the coach will take cover and they are the ones who will be left on a sticky wicket,” the source said.
Hired by the outgoing CK CEO Tom Sears, Hesson came into the country when the relationship between the players and the board was at its nadir, and for some time he tried to bring both sides together, but there has always been mistrust between the board and the players.
The players felt short-changed as board felt that their demands are inconceivable and reacted by dropping them from the national team and cancelling their contracts – which a section of players refused to sign last year citing unfavourable terms.
Cricket Kenya fired the players but after a while, following mediation by the new coach, they were reinstated and the contracts redrawn.
However, the long-standing mistrust that had existed even before Sears was hired in June 2010 to replace Tom Tikolo did not end.
Hesson landed in the country when Kenya was playing the United Arab Emirates in the four-day Intercontinental Cup matches which were followed by two One Day Internationals which ended in a draw.
In August, Kenya hosted Indian state side, Andhra Pradesh, and the following month, he took the team to Netherlands for the Intercontinental Cup where the performance was not out of the ordinary.
He was also in charge of the team when it toured Namibia and Zimbabwe late last year and also when the team toured India to play state side Andhra Pradesh.
His recent assignment was the Twenty 20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai where Kenya was bundled out.
Even though Kenya won some matches during his short stint, his tenure was marked by poor performance, especially in the recent T20 World Cup qualifiers where Kenya lost to non-ranked sides like Nepal, and missed a place in the T20 World Cup.
His resignation has not come as a surprise since many former and current players who have been complaining of low morale within the team, have always held that together with the CEO, Hesson cared little about local cricket and would grab the slightest opportunity to return to their respective countries at any time or when things do not turn out well.