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McCullum, Vettori turn entrepreneurs in India

New Delhi: New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, while leading his country’s side in dominating India in the ongoing series, will also have his sights firmly set on his business ventures in the cricket crazy sub-continent.


Daniel Vettori

McCullum, whose double hundred in the first innings of the Auckland Test has put his team in a commanding position, has teamed up with fellow New Zealanders Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori to do business in India, ranging from premium liquor and meat to an online scoring system. While McCullum and former skipper Fleming have been selling online scoring systems for some time, the accomplished duo and Vettori have joined hands in promoting the export of salmon, dairy products and wine from New Zealand to India.

The export will be done through a company called Quality New Zealand and will be headed by ex-NZ cricketer Geoff Allott, best remembered for being the joint leading wicket taker in the 1999 World Cup. A back injury meant his fast bowling career could only last 10 Tests and 31 ODIs, but he had his commerce and management degree to fall back on.

Allott is running the show alongside his India-based compatriot Geoff Finn while McCullum and Vettori are the face of the company. McCullum can’t help praising the business acumen of Allott, who can now easily be called a burly businessman rather than the lanky speedster of yore.

“We have a saying in New Zealand that you never trust a skinny chef and he (Allott) is the one, who is marketing products and people must be thinking he also consumes these products. He is a very intelligent man and when he wants something, he goes out to get it. That is what Stephen (Fleming) and I looked at before getting involved with him. It is great to have Dan (Vettori) in the mix too,” McCullum said during the Champions League T20 in October.

Allott on his part is thrilled to reconnect with India, a place he could not tour as a cricketer, but visited in 2008 and 2010 as general manager of NZ Cricket (NZC). “It’s great to reconnect with India. I share strong relationships with the colleagues in the Indian cricket board. We have a unique advantage in our business, we are constantly talking cricket and quality food,” Allott told IANS from Christchurch recently.

Quality New Zealand was conceived three years ago and Allott is confident that full-fledged trade will begin after they get the required clearances shortly to export goods to their Bangalore office.

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