Bangladesh’s Under-19 team has left on the country’s first cricket tour to New Zealand since their Test players narrowly escaped the deadly mosque attacks in Christchurch earlier this year.
A 15-member squad left Dhaka late on Monday to play five youth One-Day Internationals from September 29, following reassurances from Wellington about security measures.
It is the first visit of a Bangladeshi squad since the shootings at two mosques on March 15 that claimed 51 lives. Bangladesh’s Test squad were just a few minutes from being caught up in the carnage as they attended Friday prayers.
The third Test in Christchurch was scheduled to begin on March 16, but was cancelled.
“New Zealand gave us a formal guarantee, which we worked out and sent it to our government,” said Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury.
Bangladesh Under-19 skipper Akbar Ali said the players were focused on the matches.
“I think everybody is thinking positively. I don’t think anyone is concerned about security... There are five one-dayers in this series and everyone is thinking about how we can win it,” Akbar said.
The tour matches will be played at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln, about 22 kilometres (14 miles) south-east of Christchurch.