New Zealand cricket September 21, 2013

'2015 World Cup critical for New Zealand' - Heal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Stuart Heal, interim chief of New Zealand Cricket's board of directors, said that the 2015 World Cup would be crucial to the New Zealand board and could help the organisation set cricket up across levels financially.

"It is only 18 months or less away and it is critical from every which way you want to measure it," Heal told the Otago Daily Times. "It is critical for us to reconnect with our fans. It is critical to increase our playing numbers and it is critical because it generates us cash. It is a very lumpy revenue line for New Zealand Cricket and if we can get it up to where the current forecasts are, it will set cricket up financially at all levels."

Heal took over as interim chief earlier this week. Former cricketers Richard Hadlee, Geoff Allott and Martin Snedden were elected as directors, along with administrators like Greg Barclay, Neil Craig, Liz Dawson and Don Mackinnon. The eight new directors were voted in by delegates representing all Major Associations and District Associations, a change that was a result of the revamped constitution adopted by the board in July this year. One of the major changes in the constitution adopted this year was the formation of the "appointments panel" to recommend candidates for the eight-member board of directors. The 28 members of the NZC would then vote to endorse - or reject - the candidates.

According to Heal, the change has brought balance to the New Zealand board and has also helped bring in former players into administration.

"The lobby group that criticised NZC said there were insufficient cricket heads around the table," Heal said. "We now have Sir Richard Hadlee, Martin Snedden and Geoff Allott. I think that is a fantastic balance in the board and their concerns have been addressed. I think I've been appointed as the interim chair to keep some continuity."

On his own position as interim chairman, Heal said the board is likely to finalise the chairman in October and he would decide on putting his name forward next month.

Heal also admitted that every decision taken by the board was not likely to be a popular one. "To people who say that New Zealand Cricket is not a business - I completely disagree. It is a $50 million business. About three-quarters of our revenue comes in US dollars," Heal said. "It is a complex exporting business, to be blunt. If it makes money, then that money filters through to grass-roots cricket."