Christchurch has this week welcomed all teams competing in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, with an official welcome, city gifts, and a special gift for the WHITE FERNS.
An official welcome took place on the Ōtākaro Avon River on 25 February, attended by the eight team captains, Mayor Lianne Dalziel, ChristchurchNZ CEO Ali Adams, and representatives from Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the International Cricket Council.
World Cup matches begin in Tauranga on 4 March, with Christchurch’s first happening on 24 March, leading up to a semi-final and final at Hagley Oval on 31 March and 3 April.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said she was delighted to officially welcome the teams to New Zealand.
“We are delighted to have you in Ōtautahi Christchurch, and we cannot wait for matches to get under way,” Dalziel said.
Christchurch Mayor - Lianne Dalziel
We are delighted to have you in Ōtautahi Christchurch, and we cannot wait for matches to get under way,”
“To have the world’s best female cricketers playing in our city is an honour and I have no doubt that the skills and commitment you will display over the coming few weeks will inspire a whole new generation of budding young cricketers.”
Teams were also given gifts from mana whenua and the city of Ōtautahi Christchurch – unique pounamu taonga carved by local master carver Fayne Robinson.
Robinson said the design for the pieces was a “one-off – it will only ever be used for this event”.
“It’s definitely uplifting for me as a carver to play a big part in this world cup,” he said.
Robinson was also tasked with carving the champions medals, which carry the same design.
A special gift will also be bestowed upon the WHITE FERNS – a specially written waiata for them to use for various occasions.
It was written by Maaka Tau of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and may be used by the team to respond to speeches and when they travel overseas. The official waiata gifting will happen later this week.
Te Maire Tau, Upoko, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, said it was “a pleasure to be able to host these elite sportswomen in the city”.
“Particular thanks to the many local and international organisers who have worked hard to ensure the matches can go ahead safely in this Covid environment,” he said.
Ali Adams, ChristchurchNZ CEO, said it was an exciting time for Ōtautahi Christchurch.
“We’re very pleased to welcome the world of women’s cricket to our city, and to have the opportunity to showcase Ōtautahi Christchurch to the world,” Adams said.
ChristchurchNZ CEO - Ali Adams
We’re very pleased to welcome the world of women’s cricket to our city, and to have the opportunity to showcase Ōtautahi Christchurch to the world,”
“As an avid cricket fan and a keen follower of women’s sport, I’m extremely excited to see the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup get underway,” she said.
“Having this international tournament here in New Zealand, and some significant matches played at the beautiful Hagley Oval, is a brilliant opportunity for Kiwis to see their home team play against the best in the world, and for us to showcase our hosting ability.
“Obviously Covid has impacted the tournament’s spectatorship, however the broadcast exposure is still significant.”
The 2017 Tournament had a global audience of 180 million people, three times more than the 2013 event, and was broadcast into 189 markets. In terms of broadcast exposure, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup is seven times larger than the men’s Rugby World Cup.