Grant Elliott: Why I quit my job at the pizzeria

Publish Date
Thursday, 16 January 2020, 11:52AM

Each week the Herald's entertainment team catches up with a high-profile Kiwi to find out about their formative experiences. This week, Black Cap legend Grant Elliott, who is starring in Friday night's T20 Black Clash charity cricket match, airing live on TVNZ 1.
My first job was ...

a waiter at Fratelli's pizzeria in Johannesburg at the age of 16. My first tip was 5c, 0.5 New Zealand cents. Fair to say I wasn't great.

It taught me … to be more organised and to keep the customer happy. The customer is king.

My big break came … playing an ODI series in England, where we beat England 3-1.

The last job I quit was … the Fratelli's job, because I realised it wasn't something I was particularly passionate about and tips were hard to come by when you forgot orders and kept patrons waiting for their meal!

The most famous person I've ever met is … Sir Vivian Richards. He was a childhood hero and to play in a team of which he was a mentor was so awesome.

He was ... a great guy, very competitive and just loved the game of cricket and a good time off [the field] too!

The best time I've had on the field was … during the 2015 World Cup when Tim Southee took a seven-wicket haul, Baz [Brendon McCullum] got a quick-fire 50 and we beat England before a lot of spectators even got to the game. Some of my most memorable moments from the Black Clash in Christchurch last year were seeing Richie McCaw take a magnificent catch to dismiss Stephen Fleming, Jordie Barrett hitting the stumps from the boundary to run out Hamish Marshall and Izzy Dagg breaking Flem's toe with a corker yorker! The atmosphere was electric and the fans, as well as the players, had the best day out. Beaudie Barrett got my wicket and Team Rugby took the win. But it's time for redemption I think. I'm looking forward to Napier.

The worst was … Dropping catches and getting out for not many runs was always an awful feeling. Watching Southee get a big hundred against our Wellington first-class team wasn't my favourite day!

My dream job would be … a Formula 1 driver. Experiencing great venues around the world, the most professional support staff, an adrenaline-filled job. And can you imagine what the post-race parties would be like?

• Watch Team Rugby take on Team Cricket in the T20 Black Clash live from Napier on TVNZ 1, from 4pm tomorrow.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission