Narrowly survived Tigers head for home as Test cancelled

Staff Correspondent | Published: 09:20, Mar 15,2019 | Updated: 11:58, Mar 16,2019


Members of the Bangladeshi cricket team escaped from the mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. Courtesy Twitter

Narrowly survived tigers have left Christchurch, New Zealand, for Bangladesh on Saturday morning.

‘The Bangladesh players have boarded the flight from Christchurch. I am also in the same aircraft. They look in good spirits,’ according to the tweet of Mohammad Isam, ESPNCricinfo correspondent.

The third and final Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand in Christchurch was cancelled after gunman stormed into two Christchurch mosques, killing at least 49 people.

Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped the attack as gunman attacked Al Noor Mosque where players were going to offer their jumma prayers.

‘We were very close, we could see the mosque. We were maximum 50 yards away... had we reached even three or four minutes earlier, we probably would have been inside the mosque. This could then have been a massive incident,’ manager Khaled Mashud told reporters in Christchurch.

The team and is expected to reach Dhaka at 10:40pm (Bangladesh time), informed Mashud.

New Zealand Cricket said they had chosen to cancel the third Test, which was scheduled to start at Hagley Oval from today, after discussions with their Bangladeshi counterparts.

‘I spoke to my counterpart in Bangladesh and we agree it’s inappropriate to play cricket at this time,’ NZC chief executive David White told TVNZ. ‘It’s quite unbelievable really. We are shocked.’

BCB president Nazmul Hasan said they had asked the players to return home at the earlier possible time.

‘This is basically simple. With the current condition in New Zealand, there is no way to conduct the match. There was a discussion between two cricket boards and we cancelled or called off the match,’ he added.

This was first time Bangladesh had to abandon a tour without completing the fixtures, though there are several other instances from the other teams of doing the same.

Sri Lanka’s team bus was attacked by gunmen in Lahore during their tour of Pakistan in 2009. Six members of the team were wounded, while six security personnel and two civilians were killed.

Pakistan still hosts nearly all of its international matches in the United Arab Emirates due to ongoing security concerns.

New Zealand abandoned their 1987 tour of Sri Lanka following a bombing near their hotel in Colombo in which more than 100 people were killed.

They also abandoned a tour of Pakistan in May 2002 following a suicide bombing outside their hotel in Karachi.

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