CHENNAI, February 22- New Zealand cricketers, in India for the World Cup, on Tuesday reacted in horror to the grim news that at least 65 people had died in the Christchurch earthquake.
"Thoughts go out to the people of Chch today. Terrible thing to have happened again," New Zealand opener Martin Guptill wrote on Twitter.
At least 65 people died in the 6.3 magnitude quake that hit New Zealand’s second city early Tuesday 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.
Veteran player Scott Styris was concerned for the members of his squad who have families in Christchurch.
"Watching CNN. Amazing scenes. Some worried boys here in India. Be safe," he said.
England off-spinner Graeme Swann shared the concern of his rivals.
"Shocking news for Christchurch. Fingers crossed for everyone’s safety."
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 told cricinfo.
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.
The news would have also rattled Netherlands captain Peter Borren who was born in Christchurch. The Dutch were playing England on Tuesday.
New Zealand are slated to play their second World Cup game against Australia in Nagpur on Friday.