Hesson set to coach Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2019

Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson will be in India this week to sign a two-year contract with the IPL franchise.

Hesson had stepped down as New Zealand coach five months ago citing ‘family reasons’.   -  AFP

In one of the major developments in the Indian Premier League circuit, Kings XI Punjab is set to bring in Mike Hesson as chief coach of the franchise, replacing Australian Brad Hodge.

Hesson had stepped down as New Zealand coach five months ago citing ‘family reasons’. The seasoned coach wanted to take a ‘break from the pressure of international cricket’. In his six-year tenure, New Zealand reached the World Cup final for the first time in 2015.

While there is no word from the franchise yet, Sportstar understands that Hesson will be in India this week to sign a two-year contract.

With Hesson coming on board, it needs to be seen whether Virender Sehwag — who was the mentor of the team last year — will continue. It is believed that the 43-year old Hesson will be given full freedom to take charge of the side. This decision comes after they failed in the IPL last year.

The side led by Ravichandran Ashwin started its campaign with five wins in its first seven matches but it struggled in the second half to finish seventh.

This will be Hesson's first stint with a T20 franchise.