New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has quit with a year to run on his contract, citing family reasons. Hesson, who has presided over one of New Zealand's most successful eras in the sport and is credited with creating a culture of fair play which has been applauded around the world, made the shock announcement on Thursday. His resignation takes effect from July 31 and comes a year out from the Cricket World Cup.
The 43-year-old Hesson coached New Zealand for six years and formed a particularly successful partnership with former captain Brendon McCullum. He said the demands of international cricket had influenced his decision and he wants to spend more time with his wife and two daughters.
"This job requires 100 percent commitment and is all-consuming," Hesson said. "I know what's required over the next 12 months but, if I'm honest, I don't feel I have the capacity to give the job what it deserves."
Hesson said New Zealand Cricket, and CEO David White had given him support and flexible options "but the idea of missing a match, a tour or a format, as has been proposed at different times, has never sat well with me."
White said New Zealand Cricket accepted Hesson's reasons for quitting but regretted his departure.
"I tried to persuade him to stay on for another 12 months but his mind was made up," White said. "We understand his position."
Hesson has "more than realized the potential we saw in him back in 2012 and has grown into one of the most respected coaches on the international circuit," White said. "At the same time, he's carried a torch for coaches in all sports, demonstrating through his success that top-level coaching is not exclusively or necessarily the domain of former star players."
Hesson has been New Zealand's longest-serving national coach, taking over the role in August 2012 after previously coaching Kenya. He was largely unknown in New Zealand at the time and his qualifications were at first doubted by some fans.
Many of those fans were angered when, among his first steps as a coach, Hesson replaced Ross Taylor as national captain and appointed McCullum in his place.
But fans were quickly won back when Hesson and McCullum developed a policy of playing attacking cricket in all three formats, while also accentuating cricket's traditions of sportsmanship.
New Zealand reached the final of the 2015 World Cup and is currently ranked fourth in all three men's international formats. Last summer the team won 13 consecutive matches at home and beat England in a test series for the first time in almost 20 years.
In total, New Zealand won 21, had 13 draws and lost 19 of their 53 tests under Hesson. In the limited-overs formats, the New Zealanders had a 65-46 win-loss record in 119 ODIS, with eight ties or no-results, and were 30-24 in Twenty20 internationals, with five ties or no results.