NEW ZEALAND CRICKET NEWS
Cricbuzz Staff •
David White stressed “the idea of New Zealand being a safe haven is gone now” © AFP
David White, New Zealand Cricket’s CEO, has noted that “everything changes now” with regard to security cover for sportspersons visiting the country in the aftermath of the terror attack in Christchurch. Players from the Bangladesh national side also narrowly escaped the incident at the Al Noor Mosque near Hagley Oval.
The Bangladesh team was believed to be de-boarding the bus to arrive at the mosque when they witnessed a wounded woman fall in front of them. They were then cautioned by another woman, in a car, about the shooting inside the parameters of mosque. The players then decided to stay inside the bus before safely returning to hotel. Eventually, the final Test of the series that was slated to start on Saturday (March 16) at Hagley Oval was abandoned due to the shooting incident.
“It was like a movie, bleeding people running out of the building. We were on the bus floor for about 10 minutes,” Khaled Mashud, the Bangladesh manager, said. “We were very close to the mosque. We could see the mosque. We are lucky in the sense that if we had arrived three four minutes earlier, we would have been in the mosque and then it could have been a massive accident.”
Bangladesh didn’t have security cover during the course of the incident. The New Zealand CEO, on his part, observed that in the wake of the terror attack, it would “change the entire fabric of international sports hosting” in the country. “This is shocking. This will change the entire fabric of international sports hosting. I think everything changes now,” he said. “We’ll certainly be having to look at our security in depth. I think the idea of New Zealand being a safe haven is gone now.”
In the backdrop of the incident, Canterbury withdrew from their final fixture of the Plunket Shield against Wellington. Meanwhile, Martin Guptill and Lockie Ferguson won’t be available for Auckland’s fixture versus Otago in Dunedin.
“The team showed a united front in terms of the decision,” Jeremy Curwin, the Canterbury Cricket CEO, said. “It is clear that this tragedy will affect people in different ways, and Canterbury Cricket is here to support our players however we can. We fully respect their decision, and I am incredibly proud of how they conducted themselves throughout this process.
“Both Martin and Lockie felt personally uncomfortable making the trip to Dunedin given the events in Christchurch, and also, the feelings and concerns of their partners and families,” Simon Isley, the Auckland high-performance manager, observed. “Auckland Cricket and New Zealand Cricket completely respect and support their decision. We understand that at times like this, families come first.”
However, the first class games in Dunedin (Otago versus Auckland) and Hamilton (Northern Knights against Central Districts) will go ahead as planned. “Our players fully respect the Canterbury team’s decision,” Central Districts CEO Pete de Wet said. “We are all so saddened by the terrible tragedy in Christchurch, and out of respect, neither our players nor team management will comment further on the Plunket Shield championship until the completion of the final round.”
The ongoing Australia Women Under-19’s tour of New Zealand has also been called off.