WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The worst massacres in New Zealand hit high-level sports on Saturday. Two prestigious events were canceled and the first class cricket title was decided without a ball being thrown in the last round.
Members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team arrive in Bangladesh for the Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, on March 16, 2019, in this still image from a media video obtained. social. Bangladesh Cricket Commission / via REUTERS
One armed man killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, during the country's worst shooting that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as "a terrorist attack".
The shooting resulted in the cancellation of the third cricket test between New Zealand and Bangladesh, whose team was in a bus approaching one of the mosques, and the shock of Super Rugby between the Otago Highlanders and the Canterbury Crusaders in Dunedin.
The test was scheduled to begin Saturday at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, but the Bangladeshi team left New Zealand less than 24 hours after the shooting and about an hour after the scheduled start.
The Canterbury cricket team, one of the six first-class teams at the New Zealand National Plunket Shield Championship, also opted to abandon its final round match in Wellington, which gave the title to the Central Districts.
Canterbury was the only mathematical team with a mathematical chance to catch up with the central districts in the last round of matches, but their decision not to go to Wellington gave the winners the title last year.
Jeremy Curwin, Managing Director of Canterbury Cricket, said his organization had consulted with the players, who had the opportunity to make their decision to play the final game individually or collectively.
"The team showed a united front in terms of decision," Curwin said in a statement.
"It's clear that this tragedy will affect people in many ways, and Canterbury Cricket is here to support our players in every possible way.
"We fully respect their decision and I am incredibly proud of the way they have behaved throughout this process."
New Zealand internationals Martin Guptill and Lockie Ferguson, who play Auckland's first-class cricket, have also pulled out of their team's Otago match at Dunedin.
"Martin and Lockie both felt uncomfortable traveling to Dunedin given the events in Christchurch and the feelings and concerns of their partners and families," said Simon Insley, top responsible for Auckland.
"We understand that in times like this, families come first."
While the Highlanders and Crusaders game was canceled, the Waikato Chiefs and Wellington Hurricanes played in Hamilton on Friday, but All Blacks scrum half TJ Perenara admitted that the players' minds were also elsewhere. .
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"Today, it was more than rugby," Perenara told reporters after the draw 23-23 on Friday.
"No matter what, it would not have been the most important part of my day.
"I do not think anyone in this country would say that rugby is the most important thing."
Reportage of Greg Stutchbury; Edited by Amlan Chakraborty