The Bangladesh cricket team escaped the Christchurch Mosque shooting unhurt, after being informed about the situation inside Masjid Al Noor where some of the players of the team had arrived to complete their Jumma (Friday) prayers. In the wake of the incident that has left the sporting world stunned, the third and final match between Bangladesh and New Zealand, scheduled to start on March 16, has been cancelled.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) issued a statement soon after the players had returned back to team hotels. “All members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team in Christchurch, New Zealand are safely back in the hotel following the incident of shooting in the city. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is in constant contact with the players and team management,” the board tweeted.
New Zealand Cricket then offered condolences to the families of those who were affected by the shootings, while also announcing that the third and final match at Hagley Oval was called-off.
“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,” the Blackcaps tweeted.
Earlier, two senior members of the Bangladesh team – Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim – who were going to the mosque took to Twitter and assured the fans of their well being, amid the terrorising situation. The players were lucky to have arrived at the location after the shootings had started.
It has been reported that 27 people have died in the shootings, while several others have been hurt with the gunshots. It has also been understood that the shooting began at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid. A total of four people are said to have been held so far, with one shooter already in the police custody.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, called the incident ‘one of the darkest days’ in the country’s history. “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. It was an unprecedented act of violence. Police has apprehended a person, but I don’t have further details of him yet”, she said.
New Zealand lead the series 2-0 after winning the first two Tests, with the final one, scheduled to start on Saturday, now being called-off.