The New Zealand cricket team will carry the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) trophy -- the mace -- on a week-long, nationwide tour later this month. The Kiwis, led by Kane Williamson, had beaten India in the WTC final by eight wickets last month to be crowned as the best Test side in the world.
However, on return they couldn't mix up with the crowd and even though the airport staff and security wanted to get a feel of the mace, COVID-19 restrictions did not allow them to get close to the players and the trophy.
Plans have been drawn up to start the tour in Whangarei 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 and collect autographs and a team poster.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said that though the parades among other ideas had initially been ruled out because of managed isolation requirements and the fact that some players like Williamson, Devon Conway, Kyle Jamison had remained in the United Kingdom, demand from the public to be included in a celebration had forced NZC to have a rethink.
"It has quickly become apparent that the Kiwis want an opportunity to be part of, and to share in this historic achievement," said White in a statement from NZC.
"We have been inundated with requests to do something so that New Zealanders can join in with the team and share the moment," he added.
"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 further.