Bangladesh cricket team flee scene of reported Christchurch shooting

NZ Cricket has announced the cancellation of the Bangladesh tour, after the team were forced to flee the shooting at a Christchurch mosque on Friday.

Armed police were deployed to the area, when 20 gunshots were reported at the Deans Ave mosque. Nearby Christchurch Girls High School was locked down and public urged to avoid the area.

Shots were also reported at the Linwood Islamic Centre.

NZ Cricket chief executive David White described the decision to end the tour as "a no-brainer" and players never considered playing, once news of the shooting broke.

White confirmed the Bangladesh team were on their way to the mosque in a bus, but fled the scene when they heard shooting.

Soon after, ESPNCrincinfo correspondent Mohammad Isam tweeted footage of the touring Bangladesh cricket team fleeing through Hagley Park, where they were scheduled to begin the third test against New Zealand on Saturday.

"Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park, where there were active shooters," said Isam. "They ran back through Hagley Park, back to the Oval."

Bangladeshi performance & strategic analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaram also posted soon afterwards.

"Just escaped active shooters!!! Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere!!"

Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal also posted on social media.

"Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers."

Bowling coach and West Indies legend Courtney Walsh tweeted the team was due to meet shortly to asses the situation.

Bangladesh strength & conditioning coach Mario Villavarayen said the players were fine, but shaken.

"I spoke to them shortly after," he said. "They didn't see anything, but heard gunshots.

"They were at the ground and just started running."

Wicketkeeper Mushfqiur Rahim tweeted he and his teammates were "extremely lucky".

"Alhamdulillah Alla save us today, while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque," he said. "We're extremely lucky... never want to see this things happen again... pray for us." 

Bangladesh Cricket reassured supporters that all members of the team were safe, and it was liaising with players and management.

"All members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team in Christchurch, New Zealand, are safely back in the hotel following the incident of shooting in the city," it tweeted. 

With the fate of this weekend's test - and the Bangladesh tour - now determined, NZ Cricket must now consider on the long-term consequences of this incident. This isn't the first time terrorists have ended an international cricket tour.

In 2002, the New Zealand team abandonned their tour of Pakistan, when a suicide bomber struck outside their hotel.

In 2009, the Sri Lankan team bus was targeted in an attack by 12 gunmen near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lochore, Pakistan. Six team members were wounded, while six policemen and two civilians were killed.

The team were airlifted from the stadium and flew to Colombo on the next available flight.

Most cricket nations now refuse to tour Pakistan. While New Zealand returned in 2003/04, they have not been there since.

Pakistan has been forced to host its 'home' series offshore in the UAE.

Addington Raceway also cancelled its scheduled trotting meeting on Friday night.

More to come