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Former NZ Cricket CEO, NZRU board member Chris Doig dies

Thursday 13 Oct 2011 1:19p.m.

Former NZ Cricket CEO dies

Opera singer, cricket executive and New Zealand Rugby Union board member Christopher Doig has died aged 63 in Christchurch.

As well as his rugby and cricket roles, Doig was involved with government sports funding agency Sparc and New Zealand Rowing.

Doig's international opera career began in 1972 when he won the Mobil Song Quest before travelling overseas to study at the Vienna Music Academy, where he graduated with top honours.

He was principal tenor at the Vienna State Opera, spending the next 10 years singing in the major opera houses around Europe, including performances at the Salzburg and Vienna festivals.

He was a surprise appointment as New Zealand Cricket chief executive in 1995, staying in the position for six years and increasing its revenue from $6.8 million to $22 million within three years.

Doig was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours, and had previously been awarded an OBE.

He was director of the International Festival of the Arts from 1992 to 1995, a chairman of Creative New Zealand in 2006, and on the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Foundation board.

As Southern Opera Trust chairman, he was responsible for bringing international opera star Placido Domingo to Christchurch last week.

Southern Opera Trust chief executive James Caygill says Doig orchestrated the Domingo concert magnificently.

"He pulled it together through his own force of will ... he was a man who never took no for an answer," he said.

Prime Minister John Key paid tribute to Doig at the concert: "His commitment to cricket and to rugby and to this city of Christchurch has been truly breathtaking."

NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said it had been an honour and privilege to work with Doig: "He was a great servant of New Zealand Cricket, and an insightful and astute administrator."

NZRU chairman Mike Eagle also paid tribute to Doig's work.

"Chris' contribution to New Zealand through sport, art and entertainment is immense. This is a very sad day for us all."

Doig was diagnosed with bowel cancer two years ago.

NZN

 
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