DHAKA — Bangladesh cricketers would have to revisit the Christchurch from where they narrowly escaped when a terrorist attacked two mosques of the city last year, leaving 51 Muslim worshippers dead and 40 severely wounded.
As New Zealand confirmed the itinerary of Bangladesh’s tour to New Zealand for three ODIs and three T20 Internationals in next year, the Tigers came to know that they have to play the second ODI of the series at Hagley Park Cricket Oval, Christchurch on March 17, 2021.
Just as the Bangladesh team arrived for prayers before practice on the eve of the second Test against New Zealand last year on March 15, 2019, Al Noor Mosque, opposite the Hagley Park cricket oval, were under attack as the gunman began his murderous rampage.
The players were about to enter the mosque for Jummah prayer before a woman warned them that there was shooting inside, helping the players to survive the attack. The players were severely shocked and took cover on the floor of their bus.
None of the players were injured and the team returned home the following day after the Test was cancelled but the trauma haunted them for long days.
“It was the most heinous attack that I have seen,” Bangladesh ODI captain, one of the survivors of the attack said.
“I was so shocked and the trauma haunted me for a long time.”
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said series against Bangladesh and Australia were yet to receive government approval but he was “confident” they would.
The government last week gave the green light for the West Indies and Pakistan to arrive under strict quarantine conditions for their first 14 days in the country due to concerns over the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m thrilled to be making this announcement today, given the uncertainty and difficulties over the past six or seven months,” White said.
“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the New Zealand government for helping us navigate this complex process.”
Included in the schedule are four Tests, two against the West Indies and two against Pakistan, the first of which will be a Boxing Day Test at Tauranga’s Bay Oval.BSS