WELLINGTON            -          Former Black Caps coach Mike Hesson is down to the final three in the Indian coaching race and is being lined up by Pakistan as Mickey Arthur’s potential replacement as job vacancies open up around the cricket world.

Hesson announced on Twitter on Thursday he had parted ways with his Indian Premier League side Kings XI Punjab after one season at the helm.

Coincidentally or not, Pakistan’s Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed Wednesday it wouldn’t be renewing Arthur’s contract, meaning the South African walks away next week after three years in charge. It is understood the PCB has already sounded out Hesson about applying. Hesson declined to comment on the reasons for his departure from Kings XI, or the many job prospects he now appears to have at international level and in the IPL with his widely respected coaching credentials.

South Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also parted ways with their coaches post-World Cup, while England’s Trevor Bayliss is stepping down after the Ashes series to take the reins at Sunrisers Hyderabad. After stepping aside as Black Caps coach,  Mike Hesson took the reins with IPL side Kings XI Punjab for one season.

After stepping aside as Black Caps coach, Mike Hesson took the reins with IPL side Kings XI Punjab for one season. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) called for applicants for its head coaching role after the World Cup semifinal defeat to New Zealand, and Hesson was reported to have made the final three for next week’s interviews.

Incumbent Ravi Shastri wants to continue and is favoured to retain his spot, while Hesson and Australian Tom Moody were among two high profile offshore applicants. Hesson’s predecessor with the Black Caps, John Wright, was India’s first foreign coach in 2000, followed by Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher.

India’s coach will be chosen by a three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of Indian great Kapil Dev, former coach Anshuman Gaekwad and former India women’s captain Shantha Rangaswamy. India’s head coach Ravi Shastri is the favourite to continue at the helm, with interviews set for next week. India’s head coach Ravi Shastri is the favourite to continue at the helm, with interviews set for next week.

Hesson coached the Black Caps for six years, highlighted by their memorable run to the 2015 Cricket World Cup final in Melbourne, a semifinal finish at the 2016 World Twenty20 in India and a home test series win over England in April 2018 which boosted them to third on the world rankings.

He stepped down in June last year with a year to run on his contract, citing family reasons, as Gary Stead took the coaching reins.

Hesson’s Kings XI Punjab finished sixth this year with six wins and eight losses, missing out on the top-four playoffs on net run rate. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Kings XI franchise and wish to thank them for the season I had in charge. Whilst disappointed not to be able to build on the work we did this year, I’m sure success isn’t too far away for them. I wish them all the best for the future,” Hesson wrote.

The PCB confirmed a cleanout of their coaching staff with Arthur, batting coach Grant Flower and bowling coach Azhar Mahmood not having their contracts renewed. According to a PCB statement on Wednesday, the board will be “immediately undertaking a robust recruitment process” ahead of Pakistan’s next international commitment, a test series against Sri Lanka in October.