Attack Attempt to Bangladeshi Cricketers
12:00 AM, March 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:53 PM, March 16, 2019

Tides before and after the ides of March

Just what a sea change in outlook yesterday's tragic attack may have on the people of New Zealand can only fully be appreciated by someone who has witnessed the secure life in the small country before two mosques in Christchurch became the sites of brutal shootings on March 15.

I have been in the country for more than a month to report on the fortunes of the Bangladesh cricket team, who escaped possible victimhood yesterday as they had reached the parking lot of the mosque in their bus for Jumma prayers just after the shooter left the scene mere minutes ago.

Coming from Bangladesh, where touring cricket teams and the hosts alike are given state level security, it was jarring to see a complete absence of police or security presence around the team. There was no security in front of the team hotel or at the ground when they went to practice, and not even on the bus that they rode on.

There was only a local liaison officer, who followed the team around in his own car and sometimes changed it up by riding along with the cricketers on the bus.

The picture, however, was much different in the 2015 World Cup, which New Zealand co-hosted. Then, the security arrangements were quite closer to home and it was next to impossible for even accredited members of the press to approach players. International Cricket Council events are different because there is a uniform security requirement that every host nation -- regardless of how laidback their culture is -- has to abide by.

Although the lax security seemed strange -- it never seemed that an international tour was ongoing -- it should not invite anger towards New Zealand Cricket because security has never been much of a requirement in the country. People can just amble into the country's premier cricket venue -- the Basin Reserve in capital Wellington -- and walk along the boundary's edge on non-match days.

Yesterday evening, however, I saw two police cars in front of the team hotel --  signs that the ides of March has surely changed the tides in sleepy New Zealand.

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