Bangladesh cricket team ‘extremely lucky’ to avoid New Zealand mosque shootings

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team narrowly avoided the terror attacks in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, which killed at least 49 people.

The team, on tour in the country, arrived for Friday prayers at the Deans Avenue mosque near the Hagley Oval cricket ground as the attack was unfolding.

Mohammed Isam, Bangladesh correspondent for ESPN, who has been traveling with the players, told the NZ Herald that the team were about to get off the bus at the mosque when gunshots were heard.

“About 10 minutes later they ran out of the bus and ran through Hagley Park and into the Hagley Oval,” said Isam.

Wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim tweeted that the team was “extremely lucky” to escape the attack. Batsman Tamim Iqbal said: “Entire team got saved from active shooters. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”

Shrinivas Chandrasekaran, the team’s high performance analyst, posted on the social media site: “Just escaped active shooters! Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere!”

Match canceled

The third Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand, set to begin Saturday, has now been canceled and Bangladesh Cricket has said the team is “safely back in the hotel.”

New Zealand’s cricket team, 2-0 up in the three Test series, tweeted its “heartfelt condolences” to the family and friends of those affected.

Forty-one people were killed when gunmen stormed the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, New Zealand’s Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Friday evening local time. Seven people died at the Linwood mosque on Linwood Avenue, and one person died from their injuries in hospital.

Both mosques are in Christchurch’s city center and police have placed the two locations on lockdown.

A total of 48 patients, including young children with gunshot wounds, have been admitted to Christchurch hospital for treatment.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said four people have been taken into custody — three men and one woman. Police do not believe there are any other suspects but said it was still an open investigation.

Sonny Bill Williams, All Blacks rugby union star, said his “heart is hurting” and sent his “love and prayers” to the families affected.

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