It was a close call for the Bangladesh Cricket Team in the New Zealand terror attacks in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand as they narrowly escaped the mosque shootings in the city.
Reports in the media have suggested that multiple people were killed and various were injured in what can be concluded as an attack targetted at the Muslim community in New Zealand.
Reports suggest that the Bangladesh players were in a bus, which was pulling up to the Al Noor mosque near the Hagley Oval where the team were scheduled to play their third Test match against New Zealand. The team were visiting the mosque for their Friday prayers but before they could reach the location, the shooting began.
As the incident was ongoing, the players were made to leave the bus and were put in a lockdown in the Hagley Oval dressing room and fortunately, they escaped without harm.
Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesperson Jalal Yunus told AFP:
They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel.”
Strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayen speaking after the incident, said, as quoted by Cricbuzz:
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. 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.”
In the wake of the incident, the third Test match of the three-match series between New Zealand and Bangladesh, which was scheduled to begin tomorrow in the city, has been cancelled. New Zealand already had an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.