Members of the Bangladesh cricket team have described how they had to run for safety after witnessing horrors "straight out of a movie scene" during the Christchurch terror attacks yesterday.

The team had just arrived at the Al Noor Mosque for Friday prayer when a gunman opened fire, and after hiding on the team bus for nearly 10 minutes, they then fled the scene back to nearby Hagley Oval, where the now-cancelled third cricket test was set to take place.

Bangladesh's team manager and former captain Khaled Mashud said the team "were really lucky".

"Had we reached even three or four minutes earlier, we probably would have been inside the mosque. We are very thankful that we weren't caught in the crossfire, but what we saw was straight out of a movie scene. We could see bloodstained people staggering out of the mosque. Maybe for about 8-10 minutes, we were all inside the bus and were sitting with our heads bowed, just in case someone fires at us."

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"Then at that point we realised that if they came out of the mosque and [started shooting], we'd be in trouble. We came and ran to the ground."

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal was on the bus, desperately calling for assistance, and said it will take a while for the players to get over what they had witnessed.

"It was very sad, what happened yesterday was very unfortunate and the worst part was we were watching all those things happening.

"It was very scary, it will take time to get over it, but what can you do – just pray for the victims that have lost their lives, and pray for their families."

Coach Steve Rhodes said the squad were still in shock from the incident.

"The whole experience has cut up the whole team and staff, everybody just totally feels for the people concerned and the families concerned and the ones left behind, sadly losing some wonderful people.

"They're all upset and it's a great shame for the whole world really."

The Bangladesh team were set to leave Christchurch at midday, and while happy to be heading home to their families, Mashud said they wanted to pass on their support to the New Zealand people.

"Sympathy with all of the families, from our side.

"I've been here three times, this is a really fantastic country, New Zealand people are very lovely, it's one of the best countries in the world I've seen in my career."

This is the first time a test held in New Zealand has been called off.

Two tests have previously been abandoned due to rain, while three tests overseas involving New Zealand have been cancelled due to terror attacks. The most recent was a bombing in Karachi in 2002, which saw the second of two tests against Pakistan cancelled before a ball could be bowled.