New Zealand news February 22, 2011

Christchurch earthquake sparks concern in New Zealand squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

A high-intensity earthquake that caused widespread damage in Christchurch has sparked concern among the cricketers currently in India for the World Cup, but there has been no report of any loss of life to their immediate family. The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.3, struck the city on Tuesday with 65 people reported dead so far.

"All immediate friends and family are [okay], but that doesn't detract from the fact that there have been fatalities," Ellery Tappin, the New Zealand's media manager said. All the members of the Australian women's team, who were training at Lincoln University, 22 kms away from Christchurch, when the quake struck, have emerged unscathed.

Brendon McCullum, Hamish Bennett, coach John Wright and several members of the support staff have links to the area. Some members of the team had taken to Twitter to express their concern for those back home. "Thoughts go out to the people of Chch today. Terrible thing to have happened again," New Zealand opener Martin Guptill wrote on the micro-blogging site. Meanwhile allrounder Scott Styris expressed his concern for the members of his squad who have families in Christchurch, "Watching CNN. Amazing scenes. Some worried boys here in India. Be safe." Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder, too, tweeted their concern, while Iain O'Brien used the site to direct people to organisations that are offering aid.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said he will be discussing with the World Cup organisers how those affected by the quake could be remembered at New Zealand's match against Australia in Nagpur on Friday. "We [the ICC] have contacted the New Zealand Cricket's chief executive Dr Justin Vaughan. The news we have is that the NZC offices have been severely damaged but thankfully everyone who works for NZC seems to have escaped without injury."

Through the course of the day, several international cricketers voiced concern on Twitter. Damien Martyn echoed the tweets of players like Graeme Swann, Dominic Cork, Adam Hollioake, Rohit Sharma and Wayne Parnell when he posted "so sad to watch the news coverage in Christchurch. What a start to the year."