(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 are scheduled to play New Zealand in the third and final Test of the series starting from Saturday. 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.
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).”
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) 15 March 2019
“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.
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack
— Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) 15 March 2019
The Bangladesh team’s analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran added: “Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere.”
Just escaped active shooters!!! Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere!! #ChristchurchMosque
— Shrinivas (@chinu1501) 15 March 2019
Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh further said that there will be a “team meeting shortly”.
Team meeting shortly https://t.co/SVeATBtULO
— Courtney A Walsh (@CuddyWalsh) March 15, 2019
According to New Zealand Herald, a New Zealand Cricket spokesperson described the incident as an “unfolding situation”, on being questioned whether the match will take place as scheduled after the incident.
The Kiwis have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match Test series.