The winners ICC World Test Championship trophy, the Mace, the BlackCaps would carry the iconic trophy across New Zealand as part of their celebration for winning the inaugural Test championship. It would be a week-long nationwide tour starting July 26 from Whangarei, the hometown of Tim Southee. The New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced on Wednesday (July 7).
NZC chief executive David White said that the board was not in for the parade or any celebration initially owing to the isolation requirements. However, the plan got rolling due to the demand of the Kiwis.
“It’s quickly become apparent that Kiwis want an opportunity to be part of, and to share in this historic achievement,” said Mr 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.
For New Zealand Cricket, the WTC final win is one of the biggest achievements for the country in the history of cricket, apart from the White Ferns ICC World Cup triumph in 2000. Mr White said that the country should get a chance to celebrate this historic win.
“This is just as much a chance for our BLACKCAPS 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 Mr 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.”
Selected BlackCaps players and support staff will be participating in the parade. The cohort will assemble at each of the designated cities on the route. Involved players will also include Will Sommerville, Jeet Raval, and Todd Astle. Although the trio didn’t feature in the final against India, they were actively involved in the WTC campaign.
However, BlackCaps skipper Kane Williamson, along with other playing XI members of the WTC Final including Kyle Jamieson, Devon Conway, and Colin de Grandhomme won’t be involved in the festivities as they will remain in the UK for their County Championship and Hundred commitments.
Furthermore, New Zealand Cricket intends to display the Mace at every BlackCaps home international game this summer.