Royal couple bowls over Christchurch

Royalty went into bat in Christchurch as Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge helped New Zealand warm up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Enthusiastic crowds filled leafy Latimer Square to watch the royal couple as they joined New Zealand cricketing royalty and teams of excited children - sporting the team colours of international cricketing nations - to pitch in together for a friendly game of cricket.

With the children fielding and the Duke on the ball, the Duchess took her place on the crease with a plastic bat. She faced three deliveries from her husband before handing the bat to him as New Zealand cricketing great Sir Richard Hadlee played wicketkeeper.

After the Duke smashed a ball out into the crowd, they were presented with a New Zealand cricket shirt each, and a onesie for Prince George.

International sporting events

Christchurch is preparing to host two of the world’s biggest sporting events in 2015: the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup (between New Zealand and Sri Lanka) will be played in Christchurch on 14 February 2015 in the newly transformed Hagley Oval, commencing the 49-match series across New Zealand and Australia.

And, later in the year (30 May - 21 June), the FIFA U-20 is expected to fill stadiums across New Zealand as the beautiful game brings a host of rising stars from 24 nations.

Christchurch ‘reimagined’

Tagged as a ‘city reimagined’, Christchurch is becoming one of New Zealand’s most vibrant and creative hubs as a passionate population work to rebuild and recreate their city following the 2011 earthquake.

The New York Times ranked Christchurch as Number 2 on their list of 52 cities to visit in 2014, describing it as a city of creativity and wit.

Just two hours from Christchurch, the vast region of Canterbury (which stretches from the glaciers and ski fields of the Southern Alps to the beaches of the east coast) offers diverse outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, wineries, hot springs, lakes and wildlife.

More information:

Cricket World Cup 2015 – 500 Days to Go