NZ players in shock after Christchurch earthquake

Updated: Feb 22, 2011, 22:03 PM IST

Chennai: New Zealand`s cricketers competing in the World Cup here woke up to the shock news of an earthquake back home and reacted in horror to the death of 65 people in the tragedy in Christchurch.

"Thoughts go out to the people of Chch today. Terrible thing to have happened again," opener Martin Guptill wrote on Twitter.

At least 65 people died in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand`s second largest city early this morning and the death toll was likely to rise in a region still recovering from a 7.0 quake in September last year.

"The team woken early in India to news of another Christchurch earthquake. Thoughts are with everyone and hoping all are OK," New Zealand Cricket said on its Twitter account.

All-rounder Scott Styris was concerned for teammates who have families in Christchurch.

"Watching CNN. Amazing scenes. Some worried boys here in India. Be safe," he said.

New Zealand media manager Ellery Tappin sought to allay the concerns. "All immediate friends and family are okay, but that doesn`t detract from the fact that there have been fatalities," Tappin said.

Amongst the New Zealand World Cup squad, fast bowler Hamish Bennett plys his trade for the Canterbury team in the devastated area while coach John Wright was born in the region.

New Zealand, who thrashed Kenya by 10 wickets in their World Cup opener, are slated to play their second game against Australia in Nagpur on Friday.