PSL players wear black armbands to protest carnage at Christchurch mosques

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Players and match officials wore black armbands during Pakistan Super League (PSL) match in Karachi to protest carnage at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that shocked the world on Friday.

The players and match officials wore black armbands during PSL eliminator played between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United.

One-minute silence was also observed before the start of the match Friday evening to express solidarity with victims of one of the most gruesome terror attacks in recent times.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) earlier expressed shock and grief over the attacks on Christchurch mosques ahead of the Friday prayers.

“On behalf of the Pakistan cricket fraternity, I would like to condemn in the strongest possible way the cowardly, uncivilised and inhuman terrorist attacks on the innocent worshippers in Christchurch mosques,” PCB chief Ehsan Mani said.

“Our hearts go out for all those affected by this tragedy as who will feel and understand their pain and loss better than us.”

Mani also extended his deepest condolences to colleagues in New Zealand cricket and thanked Almighty Allah that members of Bangladesh cricket team, who went to offer prayers at the mosque, escaped the attach unhurt.

“In these difficult times, we also stand firmly with our colleagues in New Zealand Cricket and offer our deepest condolences. We are also aware that the Bangladesh men’s cricket team were also praying at a mosque near the Hagley Park. We thank Allah Almighty that all of them escaped unhurt,” he said.

“As a mark of respect for the victims and to show support and solidarity with the New Zealand community and the NZC, it has been decided that we will observe a minute’s silence before the start of tonight’s Pakistan Super League match, while all the players and match officials will wear black armbands.”

Attacks on the two mosques left at least 49 dead Friday, with one gunman — identified as an Australian extremist — apparently livestreaming the assault that triggered the lockdown of the New Zealand city.

In what appeared to be the worst attack against Muslims in a western country, witnesses spoke of victims being shot at close range, with women and children believed to be among those killed.

The gunman at one mosque was an Australian-born citizen, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in Sydney, describing him as “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

It was not immediately clear how many attackers were involved, but New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said three men had been taken into custody and added that they were on the security watchlist.

Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were also found and neutralised by the military, police said.