Bangladesh cricket team escapes NZ mosque shooting

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Sports desk, Mar 15: Members of the Bangladesh cricket team have described on social media their narrow escape from a mass shooting at a Christchurch mosque on Friday.Players and members of the team’s coaching staff were reportedly on their bus, approaching the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Hagley Park when the shooting broke out.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted “entire team got saved from active shooters. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”

Performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekeran, also on Twitter, said “Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere.”

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.

“I spoke to one of them shortly after,” Vllavarayen said.

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.”

Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team were

bussed to the mosque in Christchurch 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 team is reported to have left the bus and fled on foot to nearly Hagley Oval where it is due to play New Zealand in a test match starting on Saturday.

Reports said the team is under lockdown in its dressing room at the stadium from which manager Khaled Mashud has remained in contact with officials from New Zealand Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board.