Bangladesh cricket team today survived a horrific shooting incident in Christchurch, New Zealand. The third test scheduled to begin on Saturday at Hagley Oval in Christchurch has been called off.
The incident happened at the Al Noor Mosque where the team had arrived for Friday prayers. Local media said multiple people were killed in the incident. Schools and hospitals in the area too have been placed in lockdown with the authorities asking people to stay indoors. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern termed it one of New Zealand’s darkest days.
Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team were bussed to the mosque and were about to go inside. He added that they are safe but mentally shocked. They have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel. Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal wrote on Twitter: “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”
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. The team is reported to have left the bus and fled on foot to nearby Hagley Oval. Australia’s Under-19s women side, who are also on tour in New Zealand and were staying in the same hotel as the Bangladesh team, were also confirmed safe.