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New Zealand, Australia teams mark earthquake anniversary

CHRISTCHURCH: The New Zealand and Australian cricket teams joined together with spectators at the second Test in a minute of silence Monday to mark the fifth anniversary of the deadly Christchurch earthquake.

The players, wearing black armbands, stood on the balcony of the main stand at Hagley Oval during the lunch break on the third day of the match at 12:51pm (2351 GMT Sunday), the moment the quake struck.

The crowd of about 3,000 stood with the players to reflect on the devastation caused by the magnitude 6.3 tremor which killed 185 people and destroyed much of the city centre.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who lives in Christchurch, has recalled how he was in India for the 2011 World Cup when the quake struck and spent an hour trying to contact his wife Ellissa and two children who were at home.

“We got off very lightly. I’m under no illusions about that,” he told the Cricinfo website.

Before this Test he spoke of wanting to give the people of Christchurch something to feel good about.

“I guess that’s the beauty of sport. We get to go out and give the people of Christchurch the ability to support their team and enjoy the occasion rather worrying about things rocking and rolling,” he said.

McCullum duly obliged with a whirlwind 145, the century coming in a world record 54 deliveries.

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