Members of the Bangladesh cricket team “just escaped” after a Christchurch mosque was targeted by a shooter who livestreamed his attack 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 at Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch.
Police have urged residents near Christchurch’s Hagley Park — where the third Test was scheduled to be played — to remain indoors as casualties emerge. There are reports of multiple deaths with emergency service vehicles at the scene.
There are also reports of another shooting at Christchurch’s Linwood Masjid Mosque.
After the Bangladesh cricket team escaped the Christchurch Mosque where a mass shooting took place on Friday, all signs are they want to go home.
Stuff saw about seven or eight “very shaken” members of the touring side getting off the team bus, and moving into their hotel.
An official ushering the team from the bus to the hotel indicated it was unlikely the third test against New Zealand would be played.
“There’s no thoughts toward the game. That’s not the biggest concern right now, the players need space.”
Cricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent Mohammad Isam posted a video to Twitter of the team rushing through Hagley Park away from the mosque.
A gunman reportedly opened fire at the mosque, with the former president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Mohammed Jama saying a man with a gun went into the mosque about 1.40pm on Friday.
He saw about four people injured and two people lying on the ground. He did not know if they were alive or dead.
“Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”
Bangladesh’s performance and strategic analyst Shrinivas tweeted there was a lot of panic.
“Just escaped active shooters!!! Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere!! #ChristchurchMosque,” he wrote.
Bangladesh wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim also tweeted how fortunate they were.
“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.”
Mario Villavarayen, strength and conditioning coach of the Bangladesh cricket team said the players were 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.
“The coaching staff were all at the hotel. The players just started running when they heard the shots.”
Bangladesh are due to play New Zealand at Hagley Oval on Saturday.
A New Zealand Cricket spokesperson said it was an “unfolding situation” around if the match would go ahead.
West Indian cricket great Courtney Walsh, the team’s bowling coach, tweeted a team meeting had been scheduled to discuss the next move.