Hawke's Bay Today

Black Caps to take World Test champ trophy on tour


The Black Caps will carry their ICC World Test Championsh­ip trophy, the Mace, on a week-long, nationwide tour of New Zealand later this month. Plans have been drawn up to start the tour in Whanga¯rei on Monday, July 26, and to visit Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchur­ch, Dunedin and Invercargi­ll through the week so members of the public have an opportunit­y to be photograph­ed with the unique trophy, collect autographs and a team poster.

NZC chief executive David White said that, although parades and other ideas had initially been ruled out because of managed isolation requiremen­ts and the fact some players had remained in the United Kingdom, demand from the public to be included in a celebratio­n had forced a re-think.

“It’s quickly become apparent that Kiwis want an opportunit­y to be part of, and to share in this historic achievemen­t,” said White. “We’ve been inundated with requests to do something so that New Zealanders can join in with the team and share the moment.

“At first, we thought the time-out in managed isolation and the length of time since the win would dampen enthusiasm for a public celebratio­n, but we have been persuaded to think again,” he said.

The Black Caps and support staff currently in MIQ will be released on Saturday and White said it was essential they were allowed to spend some time with their families and friends before the trophy tour.

Along with the White Ferns’ ICC World Cup triumph in 2000, the Black Caps’ WTC win is comfortabl­y the biggest achievemen­t in the history of New Zealand cricket and White said it was appropriat­e that New Zealanders have the chance to join in on the festivitie­s.

“This is just as much a chance for our Black Caps to say thank you to New Zealanders as anything else, and for NZC to express its gratitude to the country for creating an environmen­t in which this was even possible,” said White.

“If it wasn’t for the sacrifices so many Kiwis made, and the leadership from our Government and Health authoritie­s in allowing us to fulfil our ICC World Test Championsh­ip obligation­s, I very much doubt we would be in this position today.”

The nationwide tour will involve selected Black Caps and support staff assembling at each of the cities on the route, starting with a small group including Tim Southee at his home town of Whanga¯rei.

Players involved will also include Will Sommervill­e, Jeet Raval and Todd Astle — all of whom were involved in the WTC campaign despite not being in England for the final. That trio will receive their winners medals retrospect­ively.

White said that, while dates and cities had been confirmed, some venues were still a work in progress and would be made public as soon as possible.

“We’ve tried to cover as much of the country as possible in a week to give the maximum number of people the chance to participat­e,” he said.

“I know some regions will be disappoint­ed to miss out but I can assure them there’ll be further opportunit­ies as we head towards our home internatio­nal summer and that we’ll make a point of including as much of the country as realistica­lly possible.”

NZC’s intent is to have the Mace on display at every Black Caps home internatio­nal game this summer.

 ?? Photo / Getty Images ?? The New Zealand team will get the chance to thank their supporters.
Photo / Getty Images The New Zealand team will get the chance to thank their supporters.

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