'I felt completely hollow': Muslim Blackcaps player Ajaz Patel speaks on Chch tragedy

Devout Muslim and Blackcaps spinner Ajaz Patel has spoken about the impact the Christchurch mass shootings have had on him.

The 30-year-old was overcome with a sense of emptiness and helplessness after hearing news of Friday's tragedy, in which a gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch.

"When it first happened, I didn't really know how to feel," Patel told Newshub. "I didn't know how to cope with those emotions.

"To a certain extent, I felt completely hollow. That's probably the best way to explain it."

Patel said the way New Zealanders have rallied around the Muslim community and the outpouring of support shown since the tragedy had been overwhelming.

"We've shown the terrorism doesn't have a religion and that everyone belongs in this country - every culture, every race, every religion. We are all one and we should all be treated as equals, and we should strive to be one people.

"The way that the community has come together has been amazing and it's been quite overwhelming, especially for the Muslim society."

The atrocities haven't shaken his faith in the country and Patel stressed that the actions of one person could never change that.

"I still see New Zealand as a peaceful country with amazing people. I identify as a proud New Zealander and likewise, I see myself as a good Muslim.

"I suppose now we've got to move forward, and show a lot of love to each and everyone in the country."

As far as cricket's concerned, Patel was still coming to terms with the dream start to his test career, where his five-wicket haul on debut against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi earned him man-of-the-match honours.

He went on to claim a total of 13 wickets to help the Blackcaps to an historic test series win.

"Going over to the UAE with no expectations of playing, then having that amazing debut and contributing to a series win… it was just surreal.

"It was a dream come true to come back to NZ, and play in front of family and friends as well."