Christchurch mosque attack: New Zealand postpone third Test against Bangladesh after visiting team arrived at scene shortly after shooting

Ed Malyon
The Independent

The third Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Christchurch has been cancelled after a mass shooting in the city.

Bangladesh’s cricketers are understood to have arrived at the mosque shortly after the bloodshed started, where are least 49 people have been killed across two mosques in the city. According to reports, the players were told to remain on the team bus, before making their way back to the Hagley Oval cricket ground by foot.

“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, a statement read.

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“The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is in constant contact with the players and team management.”

Two mosques were targeted in an attack that New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Adern described as “one of our country’s darkest days.”

Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim said that he and his teammates were “extremely lucky” to have escaped the shooting, and opening batsman Tamim Iqbal added on Twitter: "Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers."

Mushfiqur said: "Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque...we (are) extremely lucky...never want to see this things happen again....pray for us."

On Twitter, the Black Caps confirmed the match at the Hagley Oval, due to begin on Saturday, had been cancelled in light of the events.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe," the team said.

Facebook has removed a video of the shooter loading an assault rifle and shotgun into a car before driving to the al-Noor mosque and opening fire.

Three men and one woman are in custody, police commissioner Mike Bush said, but warned more suspects may be at large.

The Prime Minister has said that at least 40 people have been killed and more than 20 seriously wounded.

Mohan Ibrahim, who was in the area of the Al Noor mosque, told the New Zealand Herald: "At first we thought it was an electric shock but then all these people started running.

Christchurch's Masjid Al Noor mosque, where a mass shooting was reported on Friday afternoon, local time (Google Street View)
Christchurch's Masjid Al Noor mosque, where a mass shooting was reported on Friday afternoon, local time (Google Street View)

"I still have friends inside.

"I have been calling my friends but there are many I haven't heard from. I am scared for my friends' lives."

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