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In photos: India get traditional Maori welcome at Mount Maunganui

After the first T20I of their New Zealand tour was abandoned due to rain, Indian team arrived for the second contest at the Bay Oval on Sunday. Following their visit to Mount Maunganui, the cricketers received a warm traditional welcome from the Maori community.

The community staged a traditional ceremony to greet the entire Indian team and support staff. Through a variety of events, Maori individuals showcased their rich culture.

The Hardik Pandya-led team seemingly enjoyed the activity. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted pictures from the beautiful ceremony.

The Maori are the native inhabitants of New Zealand, who migrated to the country in huge numbers of canoes between 1250 and 1300. Speeches, dancing and singing are typical elements of a Maori greeting ceremony or powhiri.

During the ceremony, India’s interim head coach VVS Laxman accompanied the players and enjoyed the rituals with them. Some Maori people showed off their sword skills in front of the squad.

In the pictures, Indian bowlers like Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal can be spotted watching the event from the front row. Captain Pandya also marked his presence in some of the activities.

The caption of BCCI’s post reads, “Snapshots from Team India’s traditional welcome at Mt. Maunganui.” Fans applauded the efforts of the New Zealand cricket board for organising such an exciting event.

A user appreciated, “Great welcome, Black Caps.”

Another person noted, “Hardik and his army.”

A fan wished, “All the best, Hardik.”

However, this is not the first time that the Maori community has welcomed the Men in Blue. Back in 2019, the Virat Kohli-led ODI side received the same kind of treatment when they came to Mount Maunganui to play the second ODI of the five-match series.

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