The Pakistan cricket team were given a traditional Maori welcome to Christchurch, as the City Council, led by mayor Lianne Dalziel, New Zealand cricketing great Sir Richard Hadley and a delegation from Ngai Tahu, received the players on Wednesday.
Following the traditional ceremonial welcome, the Pakistan team travelled to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Fanzone at Victoria Square, and met with cricket fans and the Christchurch Pakistani Community.
“We are honoured to welcome the Pakistan cricket team, who won the cricket world cup in 1992, the last time it was hosted by Australia and New Zealand,” Radio New Zealand News quoted Mayor Dalziel as saying.
“We have a vibrant Pakistani community in Christchurch and they are in particular delighted to see their cricketing heroes here in Christchurch for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 New Zealand,” she added.
Pakistan manager Naveed Akram 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.
The Pakistan team, apparently in the midst of an internal rift, met with locals, signed autographs and posed for 'selfies' with the fans after the official event.
Pakistan will play the West Indies on Saturday 21 February at Hagley Oval, in the second of their Pool B matches.