DHAKA: Grief-stricken New Zealand have postponed a tour of their youth cricket team to Bangladesh, saying they were still in a “state of shock” following the Christchurch mosque attacks earlier this month, an official said on Sunday.
The New Zealand Under-19 cricket team was scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on April 10 to play five youth one-day international matches against their Bangladeshi counterparts.
But the Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury said the tour has now been postponed as the Kiwis have yet to recover fully from the shock of the racist massacre that left 50 Muslims dead.
“We have been recently communicated by the New Zealand cricket authorities that they are unable to send the youth team to Bangladesh as the country is still in a state of shock,” he said.
“The series has now been postponed. It will be held at a later date,” he said.
Bangladesh’s Test cricket team which was on tour in New Zealand narrowly escaped the March 15 attacks.
At least 17 members of the team drove up to Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque in a bus to join Friday prayers when a white supremacist gunman stormed the building, in what is thought to be the worst act of terror directed against Muslims in the West.
They later watched as blood-soaked victims staggered from the building, according to team manager Khaled Mashud, who said if they had arrived just a few minutes later the team could have been caught up in the massacre.
The team was in Christchurch for their third and final Test match against the home side scheduled to begin the next day, which was promptly cancelled to allow the cricketers to return home at the earliest possible time.