Pakistan receive warm welcome to Christchurch

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The team were welcomed by the mayor Lianne Dalziel, New Zealand cricketing great Sir Richard Hadley and a delegation from Ngai Tahu.

Pakistan team manager Naveed Cheema accepted the rautapu (symbol of peace) laid down by a kaiwero (warrior) and the team were welcomed to the Christchurch City Council office for an official pōwhiri.

Passionate cricket fans waited outside to get a glimpse of their team.

Yogesh Patel said he wanted to part of the world cup in any way possible.

“I live in Canada and we don’t get to see a lot of cricket there, so to see the Pakistan team in person is awesome,” he said.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel reminded those in attendance that the last time New Zealand and Australia hosted the Cricket World Cup in 1992, Pakistan won the tournament.

Pakistan cricket team manager Naveed Cheema said he was humbled by the welcome and he was excited to be in a city full of such friendly people.

“Although we are only here for a short time, we always enjoy ourselves in Christchurch,” he said.

Following the official welcome the team took a tram to the cricket fan zone in Victoria Square, where the New Brighton cricket team gave them a guard of honor.

Bailey Gowans was excited to greet the team as he thought Pakistan would be front-runners in the world cup.

The 11-year-old said they had practiced the welcome for two weeks, and it was cool to be involved.

Pakistan will play the West Indies at Hagley Oval on Sunday.

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