New Zealander Mike Hesson has stepped down as Kenya's cricket coach 10 months into a two-year contract, citing security concerns.

Hesson, the 37-year-old former Otago coach who took up the role in July 2011, said the move came after fears for his family's safety.

"It is a very difficult decision we as a family have had to make but sadly we have been directly and indirectly affected by a number of security related incidents in recent weeks and my family has to come first," the former New Zealand A coach said in a statement.

"This is purely a decision about the safety of my family and quality of life."

He said his wife and two daughters would return to New Zealand as soon as possible while he would stay on to take charge of Kenya for matches against Namibia next month.

Cricket Kenya said they were sad to see Hesson go, but respected his decision.

Hesson may be a contender to replace departing Black Caps coach John Wright who announced last week he would step down after the tour of the West Indies.

NZ Newswire