Christchurch attack: Canterbury withdraws from final Plunket Shield match; Central Districts declared winner

Plunket Shield's other contender, Canterbury, withdrew from its final match of the season following Friday’s gruesome attacks leaving competition leader Central Districts as the champion.

Christchurch terrorist attack

A flower is placed on the railing with a message for the victims of the mosques attacks at the Botanical Garden in Christchurch.   -  AFP

The winner of New Zealand’s first-class domestic cricket competition, Plunket Shield, has been decided with a round left, in the wake of the terrorist attack at a mosque in Christchurch.

Leading the competition, Central Districts will be presented with the trophy next week at Hamilton’s Seddon Park, after the other contender, Canterbury, withdrew from its final match of the season following Friday’s gruesome attacks, New Zealand Herald reported.

READ | Bangladesh tour of New Zealand called off after attack

Canterbury’s final four-day match against Wellington had been scheduled to begin at the Basin Reserve.

“The team showed a united front in terms of the decision,” said Canterbury Cricket CEO Jeremy Curwin.

“It is clear that this tragedy will affect people in different ways, and Canterbury Cricket is here to support our players however we can.

“We fully respect their decision, and I am incredibly proud of how they conducted themselves throughout this process.”

The country’s deadliest terror attack forced the cancellation of the third and final Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh, whose players had a close shave. The Bangladesh team was on its way to the mosque, one of two sites of the shooting attack that killed at least 49 people. The tour has been called off.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) CEO David White said, “This isn’t about cricket; it’s about something much bigger and much more important than that. It’s about life, it’s about respect; it’s about family and community.

“Cricket and sport takes a back seat to personal welfare.”

Meanwhile, the Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Highlanders in Dunedin has also been called off in the wake of the shootings.

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