South Canterbury Cricket executive officer David Fisher has taken up a fulltime four-month contract with an Oamaru bank in the middle of the cricket season, with the blessing of the South Canterbury Cricket Association (SCCA) board.

Fisher started as branch manager at the National Bank in Oamaru this week, which will see him pull double duty until June 1.

SCCA board president Andrew McRae said supporting the move was an attempt to try to keep Fisher as executive officer for as long as possible.

McRae said Fisher would continue to receive his full pay as executive officer of South Canterbury Cricket, and was still contactable by phone on any matters relating to cricket in South Canterbury.

Day-to-day operations for the next four months will be undertaken by community coaching development officer Shane Gilkison, who will still be located at the Graeme Blanchard Centre. McRae said Gilkison’s role “had been expanded” to accommodate the move, while SCCA board member Mark Medlicott was also likely to pick up some of the slack.

McRae said the executive officer’s role had its slow as busy periods, and it was hoped that by allowing Fisher to take up the bank role during a “quiet period” they would be able to keep him in the role long term.

“A lot of [Fisher’s] work is done in preparation for the season – getting players organised, budgets, sponsorships and draws. “We don’t want him twiddling his thumbs during the quiet periods.

“[Supporting the job] is something we feel will keep him involved in South Canterbury Cricket long term.

“Someone of the calibre of Dave does not come along all the time, so this is a way we can hopefully keep him involved in South Canterbury Cricket.”

Fisher had more than 20 years experience in the banking sector before he moved back to South Canterbury from Nelson, to accept the executive officer role more than a year ago.

He has stated in the past he did not do the job for its financial benefits and it was more a lifestyle opportunity and chance to give back to the province.

Fisher said he hoped to take one day off a month from his banking role, to sort accounts and prepare for board meetings, while he would also get time off to coach the Timaru Boys’ High School first XV rugby team.

Fisher said he could understand people seeing the move as a negative, but he remained committed to cricket in South Canterbury.

He hoped the structures put in place under Gilkison would mean there would be no major issues.

Fisher said while the timing of the job “was not ideal” it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

“I would have liked it to have been a month later, because we are in the middle of the season, but it was a great opportunity.

“It keeps my foot in the door [of the banking sector].”

He said the SCCA Board’s understanding was appreciated and he had no plans to vacate his executive officer role.

“In the next 12 to 24 months I have no plans to move away.”

Fisher said the busiest time in his role with South Canterbury Cricket was August and September. He still hoped to attend club matches and Hawke Cup games over the next month.

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