New Zealand and Bangladesh on Friday cancelled the third cricket Test after 49 people were killed in gun attacks on mosques in Christchurch, including one that was attended by the Bangladeshi team.
“A joint decision between NZC and the @BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test,” the New Zealand team tweeted, adding that all players and officials were safe.
The third and final Test was scheduled to start on Saturday at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval. New Zealand won the first two games in the series.
“We are shocked and appalled, as I’m sure all New Zealanders are,” NZ Cricket chief executive David White told TVNZ.
“I have spoken to my counterpart in Bangladesh and we both agree that it’s inappropriate to play cricket at this time.”
Bangladeshi players and team staff arrived at the city’s Masjid al Noor for Friday prayers as a shooting unfolded and were warned not to go inside.
Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjV
— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) March 15, 2019
Bangladesh’s cricketers were just a few minutes from being caught up in massacre in New Zealand when they arrived at a Christchurch mosque as shooting began, a team spokesman said.
In a chilling account, Khaled Mashud described how most of the Bangladeshi team drove up to the Masjid al Noor in a bus just as the attack got underway.
“We were very close, we could see the mosque. We were maximum 50 yards away. I would say we are very lucky,” Mashud told reporters in Christchurch.
“If we were there three to four minutes earlier, we would have been in the mosque, massive thing might have happened,” he said. “We were in the bus about eight to 10 minutes. We kept our heads down in the bus, in case of any firing (towards them).
“Later we realised terrorists could come out and attack us, they would get then the lot of us in the bus and big incident would happen. Then we all decided to leave the bus.”
Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal called the near-miss “frightening”, while team-mate Mushfiqur Rahim tweeted: “We r extremely lucky…never want to see this things happen again….pray for us.”
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack
— Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) March 15, 2019
Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque…we r extremely lucky…never want to see this things happen again….pray for us
— Mushfiqur Rahim (@mushfiqur15) March 15, 2019
I have nothing to say about the active shooting in New Zealand that took place all I want to say is I’m grateful to almighty Allah for saving my brothers my teammates! Alhamdulillah
— Shakib Al Hasan (@Sah75official) March 15, 2019