New Year Honours 2013
Alan Isaac calls himself a "simple little guy from Johnsonville".
His friends think of him quite differently. He is good with people, prefers the satisfaction of a job well done to the cheers of the crowd and is phenomenal with facts and numbers.
When he became aware he was to be honoured in the New Year Honour's list for his services to cricket and business he told only his wife Mary and thought instantly of his late grandfather Harold.
"I was very close to my grandfather," Isaac said.
"He never criticised. I just think how proud he would be. I think about him a lot, and try and model myself on him because he was a nice man."
Isaac has been made a companion of the New Zealand order of merit (CNZM) - the highest level of the order before a knighthood.
"It's very humbling," the 60 year-old father of three sons said.
"I've done what I'd loved doing. It's nice to add something to the cricket in particular.
"To get recognised is surreal. There are a lot more people who have done a lot more than me and haven't been recognised so I feel honoured."
Isaac has spent his life combining his two passions - cricket and business- with unqualified success.
He was a good player who became a great administrator, with the crowning glory coming this year with his elevation to president of the International Cricket Council , the first New Zealander to serve in this position.
This year he has also been made a life member of Cricket Wellington and New Zealand Cricket.
"It's been quite a year," he says.
Isaac had a 35-year association with accounting firm KPMG before lifting the bails in 2006 and becoming a professional director and corporate adviser. In short he is on, or has been on, more boards than a large state house.
"When I retired in 1996 the aim was to do a little bit of governance work but do as much as I could in sport."
You can tell the New Year honour means a lot to the man known as "Zac".
He's not a "Sir Alan" and that sits comfortably with him and the recognition will serve as a spur to keep serving sport and business to the best of his ability.
"I spend a lot of time in the sky but the work is rewarding," Isaac said.
So, any idea of how many hours he has spent in the air this year?
"110 flights, 434 hours."
Told you he was a numbers man.
- © Fairfax NZ News