Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Bangladesh cricket team flees mosque shooting in NZ

AP, WELLINGTON

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team yesterday on social media described their narrow escape from a mass shooting at a Christchurch mosque.

Players and members of the coaching staff were reportedly on their bus, approaching the Masjid al-Noor mosque in Hagley Park, when the shooting broke out.

Players lay down on the floor of the bus after being warned away from the mosque, said Mazhar Uddin, a reporter for Bangladesh’s Daily Star who is traveling with the team.

“Entire team got saved from active shooters. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers,” opening batsman Tamim Iqbal said on Twitter.

“Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere,” performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekeran tweeted.

Mario Villavarayen, a strength and conditioning coach with the team, told New Zealand media that the players did not see the shooter, but heard shots.

“I spoke to one of them shortly after,” Vllavarayen said. “They didn’t see anything, but heard gunshots.”

“The coaching staff were all at the hotel. The players just started running when they heard the shots,” he added.

The team is reported to have left the bus and fled on foot to Hagley Oval, where they were to play New Zealand in a Test match starting today that has since been canceled.

“I have spoken to my counterpart in Bangladesh and we both agree that it’s inappropriate to play cricket at this time,” New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White told TVNZ.

Reports said that the team is under lockdown in their dressing room at the stadium.

Additional reporting by AFP

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