Warm welcome for Windies

Members of the West Indies cricket team, Queenstown’s first international visitors in eight...
Members of the West Indies cricket team, Queenstown’s first international visitors in eight months, were at the Queenstown Events Centre’s John Davies Oval yesterday with Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult. PHOTO: TRACEY ROXBURGH
The largest influx of international visitors to Queenstown in eight months were yesterday greeted by Mayor Jim Boult.

The West Indies cricket team, numbering about 40 in total, arrived in the resort on Friday night where they will be based until the T20I team heads to Auckland ahead of its first game against the Black Caps on November 27.

The test side will remain in Queenstown to play its second warm-up match in the resort before it heads to Hamilton for the first test against the Black Caps, from December 3.

After about eight hours’ training on Sunday, members of the side were back at the Queenstown Events Centre John Davies Oval yesterday to prepare for their first warm-up game against New Zealand A in Queenstown, beginning on Friday morning.

Mr Boult met 28 members of the travelling squad yesterday and told them he had visited their home and considered it beautiful, but "in my view, this is even more beautiful, so enjoy your time here".

"You’re the first group of any size, internationally, that’s arrived [since March], so a really big welcome on behalf of the town, on behalf of the council, in fact, on behalf of New Zealand as a whole."

Team manager Rawl Lewis quipped the players already felt welcome "because the weather feels similar to the Caribbean".

The West Indies takes on NZ A from 11am on Friday. Entry to the match, which ends on Sunday, is by gold coin donation. Proceeds will go to the Queenstown Cricket Club.


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