The triumphant New Zealand cricket team on Saturday returned home after outplaying India in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship in Southampton.
However, the team’s inspirational skipper Kane Williamson and a few others were not part of the group that landed here on Saturday morning.
While Wlliamson stayed back to play The Hundred with Birmingham Phoenix starting July 21, Devon Conway (Somerset), Kyle Jamieson (Surrey) and Colin de Grandhomme (Hampshire) remained in England for the Twenty20 Blast.
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Eleven cricketers and eight support staff members returned to Auckland via Singapore.
New Zealand were awarded the ICC mace after they defeated India by eight wickets in Southampton on Wednesday to claim the inaugural World Test Championship crown.
“The boys are ecstatic. There’s been a mixture of emotion and jubilation. Once we get home and through quarantine, we’ll hopefully continue the celebrations,” left-arm pacer Trent Boult was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.
The Kiwi players will now serve a two-week quarantine period before they can reunite with their families.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White termed the victory over India “a massive achievement, one of our great days. I’m immensely proud of the team, and the whole organisation.”
White said the board plans to honour the players soon in recognition of their feats but ruled out a parade on the streets.
“We haven’t finalised that yet but we’ll certainly be looking to get them together in some form to celebrate them,” White said.
“I don’t think there will be a parade. The current environment is challenging, but getting everyone together would be great if we could celebrate with our commercial partners and our wider cricket family.”