Hawke's Bay Cricket Association has appointed Napier Technical Old Boys stalwart Craig Findlay its new chief executive officer.
HBCA board of directors chairman Derek Stirling last night confirmed Findlay would replace Englishman Paul Anderson who stepped down from the role five weeks ago.
Findlay, 41, will assume the mantle of CEO from next month after the HBCA advertised the position abroad "to cast a wide net".
Stirling said Anderson, who is also on the New Zealand Cricket's Specsavers Emerging Panel of umpires, had a first-class performance in his five and a-half years as CEO.
"Hawke's Bay Cricket was in a very sorry state when Paul took over so he has put us in stable financial footing with a good list of funders and sponsors," former New Zealand representative Stirling said, adding HBCA was thankful to Anderson but also happy with the timing of his departure which enabled it to appoint Findlay.
While Findlay was always in the backyard, he said HBCA wanted to "open it up" in its hunt for someone to spearhead the province's goals.
It had received 15 applicants from within the country and Australia as well far-flung countries such as England, South Africa and Bharain.
Those were shortlisted to nine serious contenders, he said, before they were whittled down to three.
"We won't name them but one of the nine was a former New Zealand cricket captain," Stirling said.
Of the three, another hopeful was from the Bay while the third was from overseas.
"We were over the moon with what we had in terms of skill levels and the experience all nine had."
He felt a Bay applicant, such as Findlay, was always going to have an advantage and the other Bay hopeful would have certainly come into the equation if Findlay had declined.
"Craig was a front-runner who is a stakeholder and has a more intimate knowledge of issues and problems in the region," Stirling said of Findlay, a former Hawk Cup-winning and Central Districts cricketer whose father Harry Findlay, 69, is the president of the association and a life member.
Findlay is seen as a common denominator with all the major premier clubs in the Bay - NTOB, Napier Old Boys' Marist, Taradale Cricket Club, Havelock North Cricket Club, Central Hawke's Bay Cricket Club and Cornwall Cricket Club.
He brings a sound and proven record with the development of cricket in the province, picking up the annual Riverbend Cricket Camp when another HBCA life member Ray Mettrrick stepped down from the role of co-ordinator.
Stirling said Findlay's in-depth cricket administrative skills also gave him the edge.
Possessing a sense of humour, Findlay is seen as a pivotal factor in liaising with the media.
Predecessor Anderson had struck an impasse with the media in 2010 after a scandal that made international news when a World Cup Under-19 cricket team from Afghanistan ate scones with ham pieces HBCA served during a tea break at the Nelson Park pavilion in Napier.
Stirling said the new CEO would help two clubs - Havelock North and NOBM - to overcome a player shortage.
Findlay, who also runs a business involving physical education programmes for schools in the province, has a proven track record at NTOB with establishing a junior programme that has led to, for the past few seasons, not relying on recruiting players from outside the Bay or overseas.
The premier men's club season starts this Friday with the annual Twenty/20 competition at Nelson Park involving the six teams here plus two invited from Wellington - Karori and Onslow.
The Simon Baker-led Karori side last summer beat the Brad Patton-captained Cornwall by 20 runs in the inaugural final much to the dismay of Bay sides.