Bangladesh cricket team’s tour of New Zealand was called off on Friday in the wake of a shooting attack on a mosque which killed several people.
Bangladesh team, which was about to enter the mosque to offer prayers, was left unscathed but the prevailing situation led to the authorities calling off the third and final Test match at the Hagley Oval starting Saturday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team were bussed to the mosque and were about to go inside when the incident happened.
“They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel,” he told AFP .
Later, the teams cancelled the third cricket Test that was scheduled to start on Saturday.
“We are shocked and appalled, as I'm sure all New Zealanders are,” NZ Cricket chief executive David White told TVNZ .
“I have spoken to my counterpart in Bangladesh and we both agree that it's inappropriate to play cricket at this time.”
Earlier, player Tamim Iqbal tweeted that it was a “frightening experience” and that there were “active shooters”.
“Entire team got saved from active shooters!!!” tweeted Tamim Iqbal. “Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”
Local media said there were multiple casualties at one mosque and that another had been evacuated.
New Zealand Police confirmed they had responded to shots fired in central Christchurch at around 13:40 local time (00:40 GMT).
They later said there were "multiple fatalities" after shootings at at least two mosques.
In a brief statement posted on Twitter, Bangladesh confirmed the team was safe.
"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," they said.
"The Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] is in constant contact with the players and team management."
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