• Friday, Oct 23, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:12 am

Bangladesh to return to Christchurch next year

  • Published at 07:43 pm September 29th, 2020
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Bangladesh cricket team and coaching staff Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Bangladesh are among four international teams confirmed to play in New Zealand over the coming months

Bangladesh cricketers are to return to the scene of the Christchurch mosque massacres two years after the tragedy, New Zealand Cricket said Tuesday, reports AFP.

They are among four international teams confirmed to play in New Zealand over the coming months. 

Bangladesh are scheduled to play a one-day international in Christchurch on March 17 and are likely to be in the city on March 15, two years to the day after a gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques and wounded another 40. 

The gunman began his murderous rampage at Al Noor Mosque, opposite to Hagley Park Cricket Oval, just as the mainly Muslim Bangladesh team arrived for prayers before practice on the eve of the third and final Test against New Zealand last year. 

As the players were about to enter the mosque, a woman warned them that there was shooting inside and players 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.

NZC CEO 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 must compliment NZC for confirming the itinerary which was a real challenge due to the pandemic. This tour now holds added significance as we try to come out of the disruption to cricket caused by Covid-19 together and return to normalcy,” said BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury.

“We are really looking forward to playing in New Zealand. Bangladesh and New Zealand have established a very healthy rivalry in limited overs cricket in recent years and this series promises to be exciting and competitive.”    

"I'm thrilled to be making this announcement, 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 in Tauranga's Bay Oval. 

New Zealand are currently fourth in the inaugural Test Match Championship standing - behind India, England and Australia - and just ahead of Pakistan with the West Indies seventh. 

White said NZC was aware of the challenging circumstances many people found themselves in as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis and would be reducing ticket prices by nearly 50% to acknowledge this.

"It might sound counter-intuitive to be lowering ticket prices at a time of great additional cost and expense to the game, but we think it's the right thing to do."

When the teams arrive in New Zealand they will spend their required 14-days quarantine in Christchurch where they will be able to train at NZC's high-performance centre in Lincoln University. 

BANGLADESH TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND

Feb 24 - Departure

Mar 13 - 1st ODI, Dunedin

Mar 17 - 2nd ODI, Christchurch

Mar 20 - 3rd ODI, Wellington

Mar 23 - 1st T20I, Napier

Mar 26 - 2nd T20I, Auckland 

Mar 28 – 3rd T20I, Hamilton

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