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Bangladesh cricketers safely escape from mosque shooting in Christchurch

Bangladesh, meanwhile, have already lost the series after being thrashed in the first two Tests.

Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal Khan greets teammate Shadman Islam. (Photo by Marty MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Several Bangladesh players managed to escape and save their lives after surviving a shooting attempt at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, according to reports on Friday (March 15). According to a report in New Zealand Herald, gunmen opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, with dozens feared killed. A dead body has been seen lying near Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and a second gunman has been seen near Linwood Masjid mosque.

Bangladesh players and some members of the coaching staff had gone to the mosque in their team bus to offer prayers in the afternoon. But before they could leave the bus, they heard gunshots and were soon barred from leaving the bus. The fear-stricken players, however, soon left the bus and started walking towards the Hagley Oval for safety, according to ESPNcricinfo.

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The players are currently locked in the dressing room as team manager Khaled Mashud remains in contact with both the NZC and BCB. The report further claimed that most of the staff members had stayed in the hotel while head coach Steve Rhodes was at the ground. Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan were also back in the hotel and have been contacted, and told to stay back at the hotel.

Shaken but fine

Bangladesh’s strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayen has revealed that the players were shaken after the horrific experience before confirming that everyone is fine.

“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,” Mario Villavarayen revealed after the incident. “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.”

Soon after the incident, senior players Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim took to Twitter to confirm that they are safe while expressing their horror over the incident. “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers,” wrote Tamim.

Mushfiqur, on the other hand, wrote, “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”

Bangladesh, meanwhile, have already lost the series after being thrashed in the first two Tests.

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