Christchurch mosque attacks: Bangladesh Test cricket team escape mass shooting

'Shots fired' near mosque in New Zealand

Bangladesh cricket team forced to flee Christchurch Mosque after shooting incident

Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal said it would be hard for the national cricket team to overcome the shock of narrowly escaping the shooting. "Our thoughts and honest condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch". International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson said it "fully supports the decision to cancel the test match".

All the Bangladesh national cricket team players were escorted by heavily armed New Zealand police with loaded sub-machine guns to the entrance gate of the airport.

"I don't they're in a mental state to play cricket at all, " he told Fairfax Media. "But now, everybody is in the hotel and all of us are safe", Tamim told Sportstar.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal also tweeted: "Entire team got saved from active shooters!".

".please keep us in your prayers", he tweeted.

Another nearby mosque in Christchurch was also attacked, and overall 49 people were killed and dozens seriously injured.

Performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekeran, also on Twitter, posted: 'Just escaped active shooters. "Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere", he was quoted as saying by media reports.

Several people were reported dead when a gunman opened fire at a crowded mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, during afternoon prayers Friday.

ESPN Cricinfo reporter Mohammad Isam filmed members of the Bangladesh team hurrying away from the mosque through Hagley Park after the incident.

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The Bangladesh team was due to leave New Zealand at noon Saturday.

But the Bangladesh players ended up praying for their own lives as they narrowly escaped a terror attack inside a mosque close to the Hagley Oval ground in New Zealand's Christchurch.

"The players and support staff are thanking us journalists for delaying their departure for the Mosque".

But the Bangladesh bus arrived moments after the shooting at one of two mosques in New Zealand began, with wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim describing their escape as "extremely lucky".

Mahsud said they stayed in the bus about eight to 10 minutes with their heads down as they feared there could be shooting targeting the players.

The team has been in New Zealand for more than a month, playing three one-day internationals ahead of a three-Test series.

As is the case for cricket teams that do not travel with their own dedicated security personnel - unlike England and Australia - the Bangladesh squad did not have security with them during their New Zealand tour.

"When any foreign team comes to our country, we always ensure proper security", Mr. Hassan said. Later, the players went back to their hotel.

New Zealand Police confirmed they had responded to shots fired in central Christchurch at around 13:40 local time (00:40 GMT).

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