Players from the Bangladesh team narrowly escaped a shooting incident at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch before they safely made it back to their hotel.
There have been reports of multiple deaths following a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch. A few members of the Bangladesh team were on their way to the mosque as the incident occurred.
The players then left the bus and were put in a lockdown at the Hagley Oval dressing room. The Bangladesh Cricket Board later tweeted confirming that all the members of the Bangladesh Cricket team were safely back in the hotel.
Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team were bussed to the mosque and were about to go inside when the incident happened. “They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel,” he told AFP.
The incident took place around 1.45pm local time when some of the team members had gone to pray near the venue while members of the coaching staff, with a few players, either at the hotel or the ground.
“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 (Hagley Oval) and just started running,” strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayen revealed after the incident. “The coaching staff were all at the hotel. The players just started running when they heard the shots. I don’t know how many (shots) there were. This happened at about 1.45pm.”
The schools and hospitals in the area too have been placed in a lockdown with the authorities asking people to stay indoors.
The Bangladesh team was set to take on hosts New Zealand in Christchurch tomorrow. The New Zealand Cricket Board has tweeted that they will be working with the authorities to figure out the next steps regarding the upcoming Test.(CB)