CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUE SHOOTING
Cricbuzz Staff •
As many as 40 people have been confirmed dead in the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history © Getty
Bangladesh Team Manager Khaled Mashud said the Bangladesh team’s narrow escape in the Christchurch mosque shooting incident was like being in a movie, with bleeding people running out of the building to escape the shooter while the team was hauled up in the bus just a few yards away from the mosque.
Players from the Bangladesh team only just managed to escape the shooting incident at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch before they safely made it back to their hotel. The incident (along with another shooting at a different mosque) which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said “can only be described as a terrorist attack” claimed 40 lives with a further 20 being injured.
It led to the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the New Zealand Cricket Board agreeing to cancel the scheduled third Test at the Hagley Oval on Saturday (March 16).
Cricbuzz understands that the team was just about to de-board the bus to enter into the mosque when they saw a wounded woman fall in front of them. They were then alerted by another woman, in a car, about the shooting inside the mosque. They then decided to stay inside the bus, and kept their heads down for about 10 minutes.
“It was like a movie, bleeding people running out of the building. We were on the bus floor for about 10 minutes,” Mashud told reporters in Christchurch. “We didn’t expect this but we are extremely lucky to have escaped. We were going there to pray. Only two players were in the hotel and the remaining were about to go in and were near the bus.”
“We were about 50 steps away from the mosque. If we were even five minutes early, a massive incident would have taken place because we would have been inside.”
The entire team, barring the support staff, Liton Kumar Das and Nayeem Hasan, had decided to go to the Al Noor Mosque near the Hagley Oval to offer their Friday prayers. Mashud and video analyst Srinivas Iyer were with them too. Luckily for them, the pre-match press conference, which Mahmudullah had addressed just a few minutes ago, ended a few minutes later than expected, thus delaying their visit to the mosque.
After being hunched in the bus for a while, the team decided to walk to Hagley Oval from where they were escorted to the hotel and safety.
According to reports, three people are in custody following the shootings, with schools and government buildings going into lockdown. The police authorities urged the people of Christchurch to stay indoors.
The New Zealand Cricket Board has revealed that it will make all the arrangements to ensure the Bangladesh team return home as quickly as possible.