Otago left-arm spinner Nick Beard has turned to a career in real estate as he takes time off cricket to work on his bowling action. Beard underwent biometric testing in Australia and was subsequently cleared in May. But he was not picked in the final squad for the Georgie Pie Super Smash.
He last played for Otago in October, during a first-class match against Canterbury, but was the highest wicket-taker when they won the T20 competition in 2012-13.
"It is frustrating, and it has been a fall from grace I suppose," Beard told stuff.co.nz. "But it is what is, I accept I am not good enough at the moment to be playing for Otago.
"It was really difficult to go through," he added regarding the scrutiny over his action. "But I look at the positives and getting my real estate papers done was definitely one of those.
"It was a massive eye-opener for me. It is really only something that most guys look at once they look at retiring from cricket. I can now see the positives in having something behind me early and it provides a good balance for my life."
Beard had joined the real estate industry in September 2014 and has since made two sales while also juggling his duties as a contracted Otago player.
"Cricket comes first. Obviously I am contracted to Otago, so cricket is No, 1. I do everything I can to be the best I can be for cricket. But I guess there is a lot of free time, especially at the moment when I'm not playing in this Twenty20 series. So I just pop up to the office when I have free time and try and juggle both."
Beard, who has taken 46 wickets in 55 T20s, said he wanted to make sure he doesn't rush back. "I guess even now I'm still not 100 per cent comfortable in my action and I'm still striving to get better at it every day," he said.
"I monitor it myself, I do video work most days to make sure that I am not falling back into old habits. Because I pulled myself out, it is all off my own back - so I look at it myself more than anybody else."