The Bangladesh cricket team narrowly avoided being caught in a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch on Friday that left several people dead and forced the cancellation of a Test match against hosts New Zealand.
The team, that has Windies legend Courtney Walsh as bowling coach, were on a bus that was pulling up to the Al Noor mosque near Hagley Oval for Friday prayers when the shooting began.
The players who were getting to go inside but escaped to the nearby Hagley Oval.
Tamin Iqbal, the Bangladesh opener, said on Twitter following the attack: “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack.”
Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjV
— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) March 15, 2019
New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush said four arrests have been made in connection with the attack, which included multiple improvised explosive devices attached to vehicles.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it a terrorist attack. “There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was,” Arden said. “This is and will be one of New Zealand’s darkest days.
New Zealand Cricket said they had chosen to cancel the third Test, which was scheduled to start at Hagley Oval on Saturday, after discussions with the Bangladesh board.
“Arrangements are being made for the return of the Bangladesh team home as soon as possible,” NZC said in a statement.