New Zealand v Bangladesh Test - Men's

Cricketers escape NZ mosque shooting

Third New Zealand-Bangladesh Test cancelled after gunman opens fire on Christchurch mosque Bangladesh players were about to visit

Cricket Network

15 March 2019, 01:11 PM AEST

UPDATE: The third Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Christchurch has been cancelled after a shooting incident in the city.

The Black Caps announced the Test had been called off this afternoon, saying a joint-decision had been reached between New Zealand Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board following the attack that Bangladesh's players narrowly avoided being caught in the middle of. 

The Bangladesh authorities confirmed all members of their cricket team had escaped the incident unhurt. A mosque the Bangladesh players had arrived at to visit was under attack by a gunman in the New Zealand city today.

The Australian Women's Under-19 team are also in the city and have been confirmed safe. They have played two matches against a New Zealand Development side in nearby Lincoln. It has been confirmed the remaining matches will not proceed, with Australia's team to fly home on Saturday.

New Zealand Cricket CEO David White said it was inappropriate for the Test to proceed.

"On behalf of NZC – heartfelt condolences to those affected.

"We've cancelled the game. I've spoken to my counterpart at Bangladesh cricket – we agree it's inappropriate to play cricket at this time.

"Both teams are deeply affected.

"As a country we'll have to look at [security of visiting teams]. It seemed to be a safe haven. I'm sure all of New Zealand will take a look at their approach."

A Bangladesh journalist travelling with the Test side told the NZ Herald the players had just arrived at the mosque for Friday prayers.

"They (the Bangladesh players) were just outside the mosque about to get off from the bus and go into the mosque when they heard shooting and a lot of people running out and they saw someone wounded in front of them," ESPN's Bangladesh correspondent Mohammad Isam told the NZ Herald.

"And seeing that, they didn't get off the bus. About ten minutes later they ran out of the bus and ran through Hagley Park and into the Hagley Oval."

That run took the Bangladesh squad and accompanying media troop through the South Hagley Park gardens for about 1km before they reached the cricket stadium.

The Bangladesh team's strength and conditioning coach, Mario Villavarayen, a former Sri Lanka cricketer, told the NZ Herald: "The players are shaken up but fine.

"I spoke to one of them shortly after (the incident)," Villavarayen said.

"They didn't see anything but heard gunshots. They were at the (incident) and just started running.

"The coaching staff were all at the hotel. The players just started running when they heard the shots. I don't know how many (gunshots) there were. This happened at about 1.45pm."

The team's star batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted it was a "frightening experience". 

Mushfiqur Rahim, who had missed the first two Tests of the series due to a wrist injury but had been expected to return in the now-cancelled third Test, tweeted he felt "extremely lucky".

The Bangladesh team's analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran tweeted: "Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere."

Bowling coach Courtney Walsh, the former West Indies quick, added the squad would hold a "team meeting shortly".

Isam, who tweeted video of some of the squad walking briskly through the park after the incident, later added to the Herald that the players had been extremely distressed by the incident.