NEW ZEALAND’s scheduled third Test against Bangladesh has been cancelled after the attack on two Christchurch mosques which has left over 40 people dead and dozens injured.
The tourists were in the vicinity of the Al Noor Mosque when one attack began and fled to the nearby Hagley Oval, narrowly escaping injury.
Bangladesh remain on lockdown at their hotel and will return home at the earliest possible opportunity.
Kiwi Cricket chief executive David White said: “On behalf of New Zealand Cricket, heartfelt condolences to those affected.
“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.
MOST READ IN CRICKET
“We are shocked and appalled, as I am sure all New Zealanders are.
“We are offering support to all those within the teams affected by the situation and are continuing to take advice from authorities on the ground.”
Four arrests have been made in connection with the incidents.
The Tigers squad were just 50 yards from the mosque when the attack began to unfold.
Team manager Khaled Mashud told reporters how the players took cover on their bus before fleeing the scene.
He said: “I would say we were really lucky. 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.
“We are very thankful that we weren’t caught in the crossfire, but what we saw was straight out of a movie scene.
“We could see bloodstained people staggering out of the mosque.
“Maybe for about eight-ten minutes, we were all inside the bus and were sitting with our heads bowed, just in case someone fires at us.”
Test and T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan, who missed the tour through injury said: “I have nothing to say about the active shooting in New Zealand that took place all I want to say is I’m grateful to almighty Allah for saving my brothers my teammates! Alhamdulillah.”
New Zealand led the three-match Test series 2-0 having whitewashed Bangladesh in the three-game ODI series.