New Zealand mosque shooting: Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escape ACTIVE shooter

Sergio Conner
March 16, 2019

The team had just arrived at the Al Noor Mosque for Friday prayer when a gunman opened fire, and after hiding on the team bus for almost 10 minutes, they then fled the scene back to nearby Hagley Oval, where the now-cancelled third cricket test was set to take place.

New Zealand Cricket chief David White expressed grief at this hour for all the victims.

International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson backed the decision and sent "sincere condolences... to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident".

Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said the team were unharmed but "mentally shocked", and had been ordered to stay in the team hotel.

"They are all safe but they remain distraught".

Speaking to reporters at the team hotel, Mashud said: "This was a kind of accident that we would never expect nor want in any part of the world".

Batsman and record run-scorer Tamin Iqbal tweeted that he and his teammates had been saved from "active shooters", describing the experience as "frightening". Soumya Sarkar was also there, and we were all heading to the mosque for prayers.

Local media report multiple casualties at one mosque and say another had been evacuated.

"Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque", tweeted another player, Mushfiqur Rahim. Performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran posted: "Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere".

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The team, on a playing tour of New Zealand, was en route to Masjid Al Noor mosque for prayers when the tragedy unfolded.

Mashud, the former Bangladesh captain and wicketkeeper, said they were inside the bus for "eight to 10 minutes" and sat with their heads bowed "just in case someone fires at us".

"If we had reached the mosque three to four minutes before, then it would have been a massive incident", he said.

"Later we realised terrorists could come out and attack us, they would get then the lot of us in the bus and big incident would happen".

The players eventually returned to their hotel shaken, distressed, and in no mental state to consider playing cricket, Isam said.

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

The Bangladesh team is reported to have left the bus and fled on foot to nearby Hagley Oval, where it was scheduled to play New Zealand in the Test match starting on Saturday.

"The people who were the subject of this attack today, New Zealand is their home, they should be safe here".

New Zealand Cricket said they had chosen to cancel the test, which was the final match of the tour, after discussions with the BCB.

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