The third Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been called off in the wake of an attack on a Christchurch mosque in which several people have been killed. The Bangladesh team was en route to the mosque for Friday prayers when the mosque was attacked but managed to escape to the nearby Hagley Oval. Currently, they are in lockdown at their team hotel.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden described the attack as "one of New Zealand's darkest days". The players stayed on the bus when they first saw signs of the attack. Hence, they were prohibited from leaving the bus, but after a few minutes disembarked and ran across to the Hagley cricket ground. Bangladesh manager Khaled Mashud is in contact with both the NZC and BCB.
The prime minister issued a strong statement condemning the attack. "There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was. This is significant and I can tell you now this is and will be one of New Zealand's darkest days. I would describe it as an unprecedented act of violence, an act that has absolutely no place in New Zealand. This is not who we are.
'They have no place in our society'
"Certainly it has occurred at a place where people should have been expressing their religious freedom, where they should have been in a safe environment, and they have not been today. There is no place in New Zealand for such extreme acts of unprecedented violence. The people who were the subject of this attack today, New Zealand is their home, they should be safe here. The person who has perpetuated this violent act against them, they have no place in New Zealand society."
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.
"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.