A former Hawke's Bay cricketer has landed a top job at a property valuation and strategy company.
Former Central Stags pace bowler Kurt Richards has been appointed associate director at Turley & Co.
Mr Richards played professional cricket in England after being injured in his first game for the Central Stags.
He returned to Napier in 2010 after a successful season overseas with the ambition of being a contracted player and had Black Caps aspirations but was dogged by injury.
Mr Richards said after thinking about his future and wanting to make a living all-year-round he made the "unusual decision" to pursue his property career over sport.
The 30-year-old has recently been appointed as associate director of Turley & Co after working as a commercial/industrial registered valuer and adviser since 2011.
He was "thoroughly chuffed" to be appointed into the new role and finds the work both challenging and rewarding.
Being a registered valuer in Hawke's Bay was enjoyable despite a "flat out" pace in a heated market, he said.
It was also at a scale he had not anticipated.
"I just signed off a $14 million valuation and now I'm working with colleagues on strategies for a major corporate with properties nationally over $20 million."
He had an expert witness role at a Commerce Commission valuation hearing and was valuer expert at a bank market rent valuation arbitration.
"The job also has its quirks - I recently discovered a World War II underground air raid shelter, which was a surprise to the owner."
Because of his parents' insistence of a backup plan he graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Business Studies with majors in financial economics, valuation and property management while playing representative cricket.
Managing director Pat Turley said Mr Richards was experienced in property litigation, successful, professional and thorough.
He has been a Turley & Co property market reports contributing analyst since the tail-end of the global financial crisis "covering pretty much a full market cycle".
Mr Richards was called upon to play for the Stags at the beginning of last year and enjoyed an injury-free run.
However, he has no regrets and is enjoying a mentoring role at Havelock North Cricket Club.
"I like seeing young guys coming through and bowling quick spells, it's good to watch, but I can get it through if I need too," he said.
Mr Richards, who grew up in Taradale near the Tutaekuri River, always had a good arm.
"I was always down there with the dog and throwing a few rocks," he said.
At school matches umpires would tell him to bowl slower.
"They didn't want their sons facing a quick bowler. My dad would always say, 'Just bowl as quick as you can'."