New Zealand sports minister Grant Robertson
New Zealand sports minister Grant Robertson

Players and supporters will feel safe to return to NZ, says Grant Robertson

ANI | Updated: Mar 21, 2019 19:23 IST

Wellington [New Zealand], Mar 21 (ANI): New Zealand sports minister, Grant Robertson, said he hopes that in time Bangladesh’s cricketers and supporters will feel it is safe to return to New Zealand following the Christchurch shooting during New Zealand Cricket’s Awards on Thursday.
"My hope is that in time the players and supporters will feel safe enough to return to New Zealand and I know that they know that they will be welcomed with open arms," quoted Robertson, as saying.
Robertson said that he had written to the Bangladesh Minister of Youth and Sport and the president of the country’s cricket board expressing his relief that the team was safe. 
Robertson further went on to say that he emphasised in his letter that “violence and hatred shown by one individual must not be allowed to destroy the friendship and respect that New Zealand and Bangladesh cricket teams and nation have long shared.”
“We cannot know your grief but we can walk alongside you at every stage of that grief, and we can show you the aroha and the manaakitanga for which New Zealand is known and our resolve that we will find light from this darkest day. We will be with you forever,” his speech also included a message for the grieving families.
On March 15, Christchurch mosque shooting took place which killed 50 people. Bangladesh team members were on their way to the Masjid Al Noor to offer their Friday prayers, the same mosque where a lone gunman started shooting and the team had a narrow escape. 
NZ Cricket chairman, Greg Barclay, led a moment of silence at the awards ceremony to honour the victims of the shootings. (ANI)