The Bangladesh cricket team members had to return back as they were getting ready to offer prayers at the Al-Noor mosque which is a kilometer away from the Hagley Oval. (Image credit: Twitter)
The third and final Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, which was scheduled to be played on Saturday, has been cancelled after multiple shootings in mosques in the city. The official Twitter handle of the New Zealand cricket team, @BLACKCAPS, tweeted that a joint decision was made. 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 Bangladesh Cricket Board has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe. The Bangladesh cricket team, who are touring New Zealand and will play the third and final Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday, had a narrow escape. A video tweeted by Bangladesh’s ESPNCricinfo correspondent Mohammad Isam showed the Bangladesh cricketers Tamim Iqbal and Taijul Islam running back from Hagley Park back to the cricket ground. The incident took place around 1.45pm local time when the team had gone to pray when the incident took place.
According to reports, there has been incidents of another shooting in a mosque in Linwood. There are also reports of a shooting outside Christchurch hospital and a bomb was found outside Strickland street. There were a couple of Bangladesh journalists who were accompanying the team and they decided to turn back. Canterbury Police have tweeted to avoid the area around Dean Avs stating that there was a critical incident in the area.
Speaking about the decision of both the boards to cancel the Test match, ICC CEO David Richardson understood the magnitude of the terrible tragedy that took place in Christchurch. "Our thoughts & sincere condolences go out to families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. Both teams, staff and match officials are safe. The ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match," Richardson said.
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.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 15, 2019
Tamim Iqbal, who was seen walking back to Hagley Oval, tweeted, "Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack. Mushfiqur Rahim also tweeted saying that the team had a narrow escape. Bangladesh have endured a torrid time on the field in New Zealand, losing all three ODIs by big margins to be whitewashed 3-0. They lost the first Test by an innings and 52 runs in Hamilton and in the previous Test at Wellington, Bangladesh still lost the Test by an innings and 12 runs despite two days being washed due to rain at the Basin Reserve.
The Hagley Oval Test match was the last international match for both the teams before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will be held in England. Tim Southee was appointed as the captain of the side after Kane Williamson was ruled out due to a pectoral injury. Will Young was going to make his debut in this Test match but it will now have to wait after the cancellation.