Christchurch incident, an act of terrorism or violence? Don’t wish Kiwis be deprived of international cricket.

By Asif Sohail - March 15, 2019

As many as 40 people have been killed in a shooting incident at a Christchurch Mosque and luckily the Bangladesh cricketers who had gone there to offer their Friday prayers are safe.

A Bangladeshi journalist who was on the scene said that the shooting happened just minutes away from Hagley Oval, where the third Test was set to be held, and the Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped the incident. The Bangladesh team had just arrived at the Al Noor Mosque for Friday prayer when a gunman opened fire, with tv video showing several Bangladeshi players and media escaping the scene. “The players were just outside the Mosque about to get off from the bus and go into the Mosque when they heard shooting and a lot of people running out and they saw someone wounded in front of them”, the journalist informed. He added that all the players are safe, but they are in severe mental distress and want to fly back to Bangladesh because they are not in a mental state to play cricket at all. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson also shared his grief in a statement: “Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. Both teams, staff and match officials are safe and the ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match.”

After the tragic incident, both New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have called off the third cricket Test between their teams which was to be played in Christchurch. The CEO of NZC David White confirmed that the third Test has been called off as a result of the attack. “We’ve cancelled the game. I’ve spoken to my counterpart at BCB – we agree it’s inappropriate to play cricket at this time.” Recall that in 2002, a Test match between Pakistan and New Zealand was called off without a ball could be bowled after a bomb blast outside the hotel in Karachi where both teams were staying.

For so long New Zealand, the little corner of the world was considered somehow safe. But the horrible and disgusted terrorist attack on innocent Muslims offering their Friday prayers in the Mosque has exposed the measures of the Kiwis’ security authorities. David White has also noted security lapse and said: “As a country we’ll have to look at [security of visiting teams]. It seemed to be a safe haven. I’m sure all of New Zealand will take a look at their approach,” he said.

In 2009, Sri Lankan team was attacked in Lahore and Pakistan has been deprived of international cricket. Seven policemen gave their lives to save the tourists from the attackers. It was considered a terrorist attack by the Western media. The same Western media is painting Christchurch incident, where more than 40 people, mostly Muslims, are killed, as an act of violence. The height of prejudice and unfairness! I don’t wish that peace-loving people of New Zealand should be deprived of international cricket after this most disgusted and horrible terrorist attack. Kiwis, Pakistanis share your grief!

By Asif Sohail

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