The Pakistani players and officials were shaken on Sunday when a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch and its adjoining areas with manager Wasim Bari describing it as a terrifying experience.
“We are staying at a hotel in Nielsen, where we were playing our tour match but today when the earthquake came it was a terrifying experience as everything was shaking badly and we were safely escorted out of the hotel,” Bari said from New Zealand.
“The hotel staff took great care of us and quickly evacuated us from our seventh floor rooms and have now taken us to a safe zone until the Tsunami warnings are over,” he said.
Pakistan’s only 3-day tour match before the first Test at Christchurch from November 17 was also washed out on the final day on Sunday in Nielsen and Bari said this had deprived the players a great opportunity to acclimatise to the conditions in New Zealand.
“Most of the players were in their rooms watching the India and England Test match when it came, the quake was a powerful one and the windows and doors were banging around and it was shaking as we were rushed out. But everyone has settled down now and we also called up the women’s team in Christchurch to find out if they were okay,” the former Test captain said.
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Pakistan is in New Zealand for a two-Test series while the women’s team is also in New Zealand for a five match one-day series and are already three down in the rubber.
Bari said the Pakistan team would reach Christchurch on Monday and hoped the weather would hold up.
“It rained throughout our stay in Nielsen so we are hoping to see some sunshine and clear weather in Christchurch. Obviously, if conditions are wet it is not to our liking,” he said.
Christchurch is the biggest city on New Zealand’s South Island. A 6.3 quake there in February 2011 killed 185 people and caused widespread damage.
The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat from Monday’s quake.
Bari said that the Pakistani players were looking forward to the challenge of continuing their good Test form in New Zealand and Australia as well.
“We have a very settled side for Tests and I think we are very well prepared this time for the different conditions even though our tour match was washed out completely,” he added.