The third Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh was cancelled after the Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped shooting at a Christchurch mosque on Friday. The Test match was scheduled to begin from Saturday (March 16) at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
Members of the Bangladesh cricket team have described on social media their narrow escape from a mass shooting at a Christchurch mosque on New Zealand's South Island.
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."
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack— Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) March 15, 2019
Performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekeran, also on Twitter, said "Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere."
Player Mushfiqur Rahim posted "Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque. We (were) extremely lucky...never want to see this things happen again....pray for us."
Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque...we r extremely lucky...never want to see this things happen again....pray for us— Mushfiqur Rahim (@mushfiqur15) March 15, 2019
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 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.
A New Zealand Cricket spokesman confirmed the organization is "in constant communication" with the Bangladesh team. He was unable to say whether the test match would go ahead on Saturday as scheduled.