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Thursday, April 02, 2020

Christchurch mosque shooting: Bangladesh cricket team escape attack unhurt

Few members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team were put in a lockdown at the Hagley Oval dressing room in Christchurch after they survived a shooting attempt inside a mosque.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: March 18, 2019 10:40:08 am
Bangladesh cricket team Armed police patrol outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. (Source: AP)

The Bangladesh cricket team were able to escape unhurt after a gunman targeted a mosque they had visited in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday. Bangladesh were scheduled to play New Zealand in the third and final Test of the series starting from Saturday but that was later cancelled. According to reports, the squad, along with the traveling media personnel attended the Friday prayers at the mosque, which is near the Hagley Oval Stadium where the match is set to be played. (Read in Bengali)

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Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) issued a statement via a tweet where they said, “All members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team in Christchurch, New Zealand are safely back in the hotel following the incident of shooting in the city. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is in constant contact with the players and team management.”

New Zealand Cricket revealed both teams are accounted for and the third Test has been cancelled.

Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mashud Pilot later in a press conference revealed how the scenes unraveled.

Speaking to New Zealand Herald, Bangladesh’s team strength and conditioning coach, Mario Villavarayen said: “The players are shaken up but fine. I spoke to one of them shortly after (the incident).”

“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. I don’t know how many (gunshots) there were. This happened at about 1.45pm,” he added.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tamim Iqbal, in a tweet, described it as a “frightening experience”. “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers,” he wrote.

The Bangladesh team’s analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran added: “Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere.”

Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh further said that there will be a “team meeting shortly”.

New Zealand allrounder Jimmy Neesham described the incident as “disgusting”. “For so long I’ve watched world events from afar and naively thought we were somehow different in our little corner of the world, somehow safe. Today is a terrible day. Disgusted and saddened doesn’t begin to describe it, ” he tweeted.

Commentator Harsha Bhogle added: “When you have to avoid live shooting and gunshots in New Zealand, you know the world is in a bad place. Relieved to hear the Bangladesh cricket team is safe.”

Indian bowler R Ashwin further said: “There is no place that’s safe for humanity because human beings are the biggest threat to this planet.”

The Kiwis have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match Test series.

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