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Bangladesh cricketers 'extremely lucky' to avoid New Zealand mosque shootings

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 15/03/2019 Telegraph Sport
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Watch: Multiple deaths in New Zealand shootings (PA)

The Bangladesh cricket team were almost caught up in Friday's mosque shootings in Christchurch.

The team, who have been on tour in New Zealand, arrived for prayers at the Deans Avenue mosque when the attack was in progress. According to reports they were told to stay on the bus before making their way on foot back to the Hagley Oval cricket ground.

Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim admitted he and his team-mates had been "extremely lucky", with 49 killed in the attacks at the Deans Avenue and Linwood Avenue mosques.

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More on this story:

LIVE: Dozens dead in New Zealand massacre (ABC News)

'Please run out of bullets': Witnesses recall the horror (Newshub)

NZ PM: An unprecedented act of violence (ABC News)

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The team arrived at the mosque after completing media duties ahead of the third Test against New Zealand, which has now been cancelled.

New Zealand police cars arriving at the mosque following a shooting in Christchurch. © Getty New Zealand police cars arriving at the mosque following a shooting in Christchurch.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted: "Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers." A car with shattered windows is parked close to the mosque after a gunman. © Getty A car with shattered windows is parked close to the mosque after a gunman.

Mushfiqur wrote on the social media site: "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."

The Bangladesh team said that all players in Christchurch were now safely back in their hotel. Police officers cordon off the area after gunmen attacked the two mosques. © Getty Police officers cordon off the area after gunmen attacked the two mosques.

On Twitter, the Black Caps confirmed the match at the Hagley Oval, due to begin on Saturday, had been cancelled in light of the events. Ramzan Ali, thought to be the last man to get out of the Masjd Al Noor Mosque alive, waits in front of the mosque as he waits for news about his brother who was with him in the mosque. © Getty Ramzan Ali, thought to be the last man to get out of the Masjd Al Noor Mosque alive, waits in front of the mosque as he waits for news about his brother who was with him in the mosque.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the @BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe," the team said.

New Zealand Police said that three men and one woman had been taken into custody. A police officer secures the area in front of the Masjid al Noor mosque. © Getty A police officer secures the area in front of the Masjid al Noor mosque.

David Richardson, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, said in a statement: "Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch.

"Both teams, staff and match officials are safe and the ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match." Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media. © Getty Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media.

The cancellation of the third and final Test means New Zealand win the series 2-0.

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