'Everything changes now' - NZ's reputation as sports host damaged, says NZC CEO David White

Bangladesh players flee the scene at Al noor Mosque on Friday.
Bangladesh players flee the scene at Al noor Mosque on Friday. Photo credit: Twitter/@Isam84

Friday's mass shootings in Christchurch will have far-reaching implications for sports hosting both in New Zealand and beyond, according to New Zealand Cricket CEO David White.

The third and final test against Bangladesh – scheduled to begin on Saturday - was swiftly cancelled in light of the tragedy in what White described as a "simple decision".

The tourists narrowly avoided disaster, having just arrived at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque for Friday prayer when a gunman opened fire.

Video showed several players and media escaping the scene for the safety of Hagley Oval where they were placed in a lockdown area, before being escorted back to their team hotel.

White says the "appalling" attacks have rocked the sporting world.

"This is shocking," said White. "This will change the entire fabric of international sports hosting. I think everything changes now.

With New Zealand's reputation tarnished, he believes a review of current security protocol regarding touring sides is now imminent.

"We'll certainly be having to look at our security in depth. I think the idea of New Zealand being a safe haven is gone now.

"We now have to be very, very vigilant - all the authorities and sporting organisations, absolutely."

On Saturday, New Zealand Rugby made the decision to cancel the Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Highlanders as a "mark of respect".

The remaining fixtures between the New Zealand development cricket team and Australia under-19 women's team were also called off.

White said the Blackcaps squad – who'd already wrapped up the test series 2-0 – were still coming to terms with the events.

"They're shaken up all right. They're shocked like everyone else.

"We are shocked and appalled, as I'm sure all New Zealanders are."