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New Zealand to play as 'Aotearoa' in 1st ODI against Zimbabwe

The New Zealand cricket team will play under the name ‘Aotearao’ during the 1st ODI against Zimbabwe. The move is a part of the celebrations of Maori Language Week, and Aotearao – New Zeland’s name in Maori – will be depicted on the front of the team’s shirts.

Maori is the language spoken by the indigenous people of New Zealand and is one of the country’s official languages. In an annual event The Maori Language Week has been celebrated every year since 1975 and the 2015 edition is being held from 27 July – August 2.

NZC chief executive David White said "Cricket is a wonderful game that anyone can play, irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity or culture. We just need to make sure everyone feels it's accessible and welcoming which is part of the reason for reaching out this week."

White also added that NZC would be launching various cricket-playing programmes with the intention of spreading the game among the nation’s communities.