Bangladesh cricket team leaves New Zealand after escaping death in Christchurch attack


An worldwide cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been cancelled after players from the visiting team narrowly avoided a mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch on Friday.

The team was in Christchurch for their third and final Test match against the home side scheduled to begin Saturday, which was promptly cancelled to allow the cricketers to return home as soon as possible.

During Friday prayers, attackers entered two mosques in the city of Christchurch and opened fire on worshippers in what has been called the worst attack in New Zealand's history.

On Friday, the majority of the Bangladesh team were heading to the Al Noor Mosque which is situated less than a mile from the ground on the edge of Hagley Park when they witnessed the unfolding attack.

Having narrowly escaped a terror attack in a mosque that claimed 49 lives, a traumatised Bangladesh cricket team returned home with players stating that it will take some time for the normalcy to return. But the world will not do it because it is not Muslim country.!" another user wrote.ICC has already released a statement, on their website, condemning the incident: "Our thoughts and honest condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. "Again both teams and support staff groups are safe", the Black Caps tweeted.

Bangladesh's performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran added: "Just escaped active shooters".

The journalists from Bangladesh remained at the Oval but, within minutes, one of them got a "terribly distressing call" from veteran opener Tamim Iqbal. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers, ' Tamim said in his twitter account.

"There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was", Arden said.

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The Bangladesh team left New Zealand yesterday. "The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is in constant contact with the players and team management", the BCB said in a statement on its Twitter page.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Police has taken four people in custody; one woman, three men as suspects of shooting.

Mario Villavarayen, a strength and conditioning coach with the team, told New Zealand media the players did not see the shooter but heard shots.

Bangladesh were due to take on New Zealand on Saturday.

"I've been here three times, this is a really fantastic country, New Zealand people are very lovely, it's one of the best countries in the world I've seen in my career".

Asked whether the team had been offered support to cope with the massive shooting, Rahim said they considered themselves lucky enough to escape.

"The Bangladesh team may have prayed at the same mosque before but I don't think they were the target", he underscored.