Kings XI Punjab have hired former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson as their head coach for the upcoming 2019 season of the Indian Premier League.
With a new coach at the helm, Kings XI Punjab would be desperately hoping that their fortune changes. They have struggled to do well after the second-place finish in the 2014 edition. In the very following season, they finished at the bottom of the eight-team competition.
Their position in the following three seasons were eighth, fifth and seventh.
With Mike Hesson in the team now, Kings XI Punjab would be hoping that the team finally starts delivering. Hesson stepped down as New Zealand earlier this year, citing a “break from the rigours of international cricket” as the primary reason. It ended his impressive six-year spell with the Kiwis.
Regarded by Brendon McCullum as the Black Caps’ greatest ever mentor, Hesson enjoyed a highly successful stint. His finest moment came in 2015 when he led the country to its first-ever World Cup final.
Under his guidance, New Zealand rose to the pinnacle of T20I rankings, number 2 in ODIs and number 3 in Tests. In April this year, New Zealand won their first-ever Test series over England since 1999. Overall, New Zealand won 21 of their 53 Tests, losing 19 under Hesson. In ODIs, they won 65 of their 119 ODIs with 46 losses and in T20Is won 30 of their 59.
The former New Zealand coach will replace Australian Brad Hodge who was the head coach of Kings XI last IPL. This will be Hesson’s first stint as coach in the Indian Premier League. He, however, will not be the only New Zealand coach in the league as Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori are also in the dugout for other teams.