DHAKA: Recalling the horrific incident in Christchurch, Bangladesh team manager, Khaled Mashud, depicted the entire episode like a movie wherein people were bleeding and running out of the building to avoid the shooters.
Mashud told the reporters in Christchurch, "It was like a movie, bleeding people running out of the building. We were on the bus floor for about 10 minutes. We were very close to the mosque. We saw people coming out of the mosque covered in blood. We are lucky in the sense that if we had arrived three-four minutes earlier, we would have been in the mosque and then it could have been a massive accident."
The players, on the other hand, remained inside the bus. Bangladesh players -- led by Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and others -- decided to walk back to the hotel after their security was beefed up.
Sharing the ploy of walking back, Mashud said, "We felt if they saw us inside the bus they might come out and attack. At that point, the players decided that they should get out of the bus and quickly walked out."
The players of the touring team managed to escape the attack by a whisker. Skipper Mahmudullah had addressed the media in the pre-match press conference (ahead of the third Test at Hagley Oval, Christchurch) which took slightly more time than required. As a result, they reached the mosque a few minutes later and were notified of the happenings.
"We stayed in the dressing room for a while and we were discussing how we can get out. The New Zealand board was trying to bring us back to the hotel safely. They tried their best in this regard and they cannot be blamed because they tried in the manner they are used to. I think the players supported each other at that point and took a wise decision of getting out from the bus. Thank you NZ cricket board for bailing us during that time and making arrangements so that we could return to the hotel safely," acknowledged the team manager.
Bangladesh had to take on New Zealand in the third and final Test, a dead rubber, at Hagley Oval, Christchurch from March 16-20. However, following the devastating terror attack, the third Test stands cancelled. As a result, the sub continental side's tour has ended in the most unthinkable manner ever.
Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted: “entire team got saved from active shooters. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”
Performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekeran, also on Twitter, posted: “Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere.”
Player Mushfiqur Rahim posted “Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque. We (were) extremely lucky … never want to see this things happen again … pray for us.”
All members of the Bangladesh Cricket Team in Christchurch, are safely back in the hotel following the incident of shooting in the city.
An international cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been cancelled after players from the visiting team narrowly avoided a mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch on Friday.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said there had been a “joint decision” to call off the Third Test, which had been scheduled to start in Christchurch on Saturday.
Following the attack, many cricketers offered the condolences on social media platforms. Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, England's Ben Stokes and Jason Roy along with New Zealand's Jimmy Neesham and Nathan McCullum tweeted on the incident.
The Indian Express, timesnownews.com, Independent.ie
BDST: 1704 HRS, MAR 15, 2019