At a glance
By Martin Lenehan
As a young bloke in suburban Melbourne, Anthony Crummy CPA was a more than handy cricketer. When off the pitch, trading in scorecards for spreadsheets, he was also very adept with modern finance. For Crummy, the chance to combine his two passions as chief operating officer of New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is a dream job.
After graduating from La Trobe University, Crummy’s career journey has taken him from Melbourne to the Northern Territory to England and finally to Auckland, where he joined NZC three years ago.
“There’s incredible breadth in this role,” Crummy says. “The sport means so much to New Zealand and I get to play a key role in how we deliver cricket across the country – from events to commercial partnerships to broadcast agreements and stakeholder relationships.”
When it comes to intensity, Crummy says nothing compares to the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, which New Zealand won 8-7 in a heart-stopping clash with France.
As part of the project management team for New Zealand Rugby at that time, Crummy oversaw the risk and contingency planning for travel, logistics and accommodation.
“At that stage, my wife and I had been having discussions about going back to Australia, but when the opportunity came up to work on the Rugby World Cup [RWC] it was too good to pass up,” he says.
“Major events are amazing beasts to work on. To see the whole country embrace the All Blacks [New Zealand’s national rugby union team] and to be there for that final was something I’ll never forget.”
The blend of rewarding work and pure passion has been a huge bonus for Crummy since 2011, but prior to that he had tackled a range of challenges, including working at an advertising firm and rental car company.
“While I was at university, I got a job with David Kew, a partner in a large accounting firm who had gone out on his own,” Crummy says. “I was doing tax and superannuation and accounting for small-to-medium sized businesses.
“I could have gone into chartered accounting full-time from there, but a couple of my mentors said I should go down the industry path, working for an outdoor advertising firm, [which was] Cody Outdoor.”
From there, he worked briefly in recruitment, then went back into the finance sector for Delta Car Rentals, which became Europcar while he was a finance manager there.
“I had a fantastic mentor at Europcar, Woody Wunsch, who was a brilliant finance director, but I didn’t have that structured training you often get in a chartered accounting firm. I did the CPA Program in the mid-1990s and it was exactly what I needed. The CPA Program was brilliant in terms of providing a broad but structured program that gave you that support,” he says.
Crummy and his New Zealand-born wife Andrea then spent a year in the Northern Territory, where he played cricket and worked for Europcar.
The year was 2002, but Andrea was keen to return home to New Zealand and “give it a go for a year”.
Sixteen years and three children later, they are still there. Strategic roles with Natural Gas Corporation of New Zealand and New Zealand Racing Board followed, before the chance to be part of the 2011 RWC came Crummy’s way.
The sporting theme continued as group operations manager for the New Zealand side in the ICC Cricket World Cup and finally the move to NZC, where the COO role offers the 45-year-old the perfect vehicle to indulge in what he loves.
“There’s a team of about 75 people at NZC and they are all passionate about the sport.
“When your fans and customers are so passionate about what you do, it adds another degree of intensity and enjoyment to it.”
One piece of advice
“In sporting parlance, my advice is ‘play on the best players’. Irrespective of what a job description might say, back yourself and take a chance and go with the best players because they’ll take you to the ball. It’s why I didn’t go into the chartered accounting world, but into industry, because [of] the opportunity to work for some impressive people who were creating things and could take me to the action.”