Christchurch mosque terror attack: New Zealand vs Bangladesh third Test cancelled
Third Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh, scheduled to start on March 16, has been cancelled after a terror attack in Christchurch. New Zealand had already won the series 2-0.
The third Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh, scheduled to be be played at the Hagley Oval starting March 16, has been cancelled following the terror attack on Friday. The decision to cancel the third Test was taken jointly by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) following the deadly attack which left 49 people dead and over 20 injured.
A statement by NZC said, “Arrangements are being made for the return the Bangladesh team home as soon as possible.”
“A decision has also been made to cancel the two remaining fixtures between the New Zealand Development team and Australia’s U19 women’s team that were due to take place over the weekend at Lincoln’s Bert Sutcliffe Oval.”
New Zealand Cricket’ CEO David White said, “We are shocked and appalled as I am sure all New Zealanders are. We are offering support to all those within the teams affected by the situation and are continuing to take advice from authorities on the ground.”
“I spoke to my counterpart in Bangladesh and we agree it’s inappropriate to play cricket at this time,” White further told TVNZ. “It’s quite unbelievable really. We are shocked.”
“It’s obviously early days in a fairly fluid situation (but) it’s something that we as New Zealanders have to look at as well,” he added. “We are shocked and appalled as I’m sure all New Zealanders are.”
Few members of the Bangladesh cricket team were near the mosque when the attack took place. They were able to escape unhurt, it was confirmed later, with all members of both teams accounted for. Christchurch was placed in a lockdown following the attack.
As per a ESPNCricinfo report, players stayed on the bus when some of them saw signs of the attack. After being initially told to stay inside the bus, they got off and ran through Hagley Park to the ground and then the hotel.
New Zealand Cricket said in a tweet, “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the @BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe.”
As per reports, the squad, along with the traveling media personnel attended the Friday prayers at the mosque, which is near the Hagley Oval Stadium. “They were on the bus, which was just pulling up to the mosque when the shooting begun,” said Mario Villavarayen, strength and conditioning coach of the Bangladesh cricket team, to Reuters in a message. “They are shaken but good.”