Bangladesh cricketers flees New Zealand mosque shooting; match scrapped

 khaleejtimes.com  03/15/2019 06:09:21  7  AP

Bangladesh cricketers flees New Zealand mosque shooting; match scrapped

AP

Filed on March 15, 2019 | Last updated on March 15, 2019 at 09.42 am

An international cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been canceled after players from the visiting team narrowly avoided a mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch on Friday.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said there had been a "joint decision" to call off the third test, which had been scheduled to start Saturday in Christchurch.

"On behalf of New Zealand Cricket heartfelt condolences to those affected," White said. "I've spoken to my counterpart at Bangladesh cricket - we agree it's inappropriate to play cricket at this time.

"Both teams are deeply affected."

Earlier, members of the Bangladesh cricket team described on social media how they narrowly avoided the mosque shooting on New Zealand's South Island.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted "entire team got saved from active shooters. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers."

Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjV

- Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) March 15, 2019

Performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekeran, also on Twitter, said "Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere."

Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack

- Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) March 15, 2019

Mario Villavarayen, a strength and conditioning coach with the team, told New Zealand media the players did not see the shooter but heard shots. He said they were shaken but unhurt.

"I spoke to one of them shortly after," Vllavarayen said. They didn't see anything but heard gunshots. They were at the ground and just started running.

"The coaching staff were all at the hotel. The players just started running when they heard the shots."

The team is reported to have left the bus and fled on foot to nearly Hagley Oval where it is due to play New Zealand in a test match starting on Saturday.

Reports said the team is under lockdown in its dressing room at the stadium from which manager Khaled Mashud has remained in contact with officials from New Zealand Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

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