Taneika Uerata, Shardey Te Kanawa and Quinn Robinson of the Maori team at the kaikai on Friday.
The Avana/Turangi women’s cricket side hosted the visiting Northern District Maori side to a kaikai on Friday night.
The New Zealand-based side left the country at the weekend after a four-match visit to the Cook Islands.
The team, led by skipper Kerryann Tomlinson, were unbeaten against the national under-19 team, national senior women’s team (two matches) and a friendly against the Avana/Turangi side last week.
Northern District Maori fielding coach Mark Crawford was pleased with the hospitality from the hosting team and thanked them for making their tour enjoyable.
He said they used the matches as their preseason build-up and praised the local players for a perfect hit out before their season opener.
“It’s the first time for this group of girls to come together and we want to continue this. Hopefully Cook Islands can come to New Zealand so we can host them at home next year,” Crawford said.
“I think these girls here are talented and have this natural athletic ability. The only thing they need to work on is the technical side, otherwise they look promising and can be the best in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Skipper Tomlinson said it was an honour for the players to be part of this tour.
She said they hoped to continue this relationship in years to come.
“It’s all about enjoyment here but they do get quite competitive on the field. There is a lot of development here and it’s also good to see some women who are older than our girls playing.”
Cook Islands Cricket chief executive officer Alister Stevic said apart from cricket, the ND Maori team also had an opportunity to rediscover the cultural link between the two nations.
“Without the support of our sponsors Island Craft, The Gift Shop, Hori Signs, Patimai Jewelry, The Computer Man, Vonnias, Island Car and Bike Hire and The Edgewater the week would simply not have been made possible,” Stevic said.
“Playing superior opposition on a regular basis is key to the progression of our female players, so to have all the support is very much appreciated by the players and Cook Islands Cricket.”
The Avana/Turangi side thanked the business community in Muri for their support in preparing the kaikai.