Bangladesh players and officials currently touring New Zealand. (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP)
Bangladesh players and officials currently touring New Zealand. (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP)

‘Just escaped’: Cricket team flees shooting

MEMBERS of the Bangladesh cricket team "just escaped" after a Christchurch mosque was targeted by a shooter on Friday.

Players and support staff preparing for the Third Test of a series against New Zealand beginning on Saturday were forced to flee after dozens of shots were heard being fired.

Police have urged residents near Christchurch's Hagley Park to remain indoors as reports of casualties emerge.

Team performance and strategic analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran said: "Just escaped active shooters!!! Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere."

The New Zealand Herald is reporting the team was inside the mosque for Friday prayer but strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayen said they were all safe.

"The players are shaken up but fine. I spoke to one of them shortly after (the incident)," he said. "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."

ESPN cricinfo correspondent Mohammad Isam, who is in New Zealand covering the tour, filmed a group of players walking through nearby Hagley Park.

Bangladesh has been touring New Zealand since early February but is so far winless, having been swept 3-0 in an ODI series and losing by an innings in the first two Tests.

A New Zealand Cricket spokesperson told stuff.co.nz could not confirm if the third Test would go ahead because of the "unfolding situation".


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