Bangladesh cricket team manager Khaled Mahsud on Friday felt they were very lucky to escape a massive damage during the terror attack on two Christchurch mosques that left at least 49 people dead.
Bangladesh team was about to disembark from their team bus to offer jumma prayer when gunman attacked the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch.
‘Everyone have seen (what had happened), we did not expect this, we were lucky,’ Mashud told reporters in Christchurch.
‘We were about 17 people in the bus (only batsman Liton Das, off-spinner Nayeem Hasan were away). Soumya Sarker was among them. Only two players were in the hotel. Rest of them were there.
‘We were very close, we could see the mosque. We were maximum 50 yards away... If we were there three to four minutes earlier, we would have been in the mosque, massive thing might have happened.
‘It looked like video, what we usually see in movie, from the bus we saw bloodstained people coming out of the mosque.
Mahsud said they stayed in the bus about eight to 10 minutes with their heads down as they feared there could be shooting targeting the players.
‘Later we realised terror could come out an attack on us, they would get then lot of us in the bus and big incident would happen, then we all decided to leave the bus,’ Mashud said.
Bangladesh was in Christchurch to play their third and final Test against New Zealand at the end of their month long tour.
The Test has now been cancelled and the Bangladesh Cricket Board asked the team to return home at the earliest possible time.
Some 49 people were killed and more than 48 were seriously wounded in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand, in what prime minister Jacinda Ardern said was a terrorist attack and termed as one of the ‘darkest days’ in New Zealand history.
Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who was in the bus, also felt lucky to escape the massacre.
‘Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque...we r extremely lucky...never want to see this things happen again....pray for us,’ he twitted.
Opener Tamim Iqbal termed it as a ‘frightening experience’ and sought prayers for them.
‘Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers,’ Tamim said in his twitter account.
Bangladesh team’s performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran also gave similar reaction after the incident.
‘Just escaped active shooters!!! Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere!!’ he said.
Bangladesh’s strength and conditioning coach, Mario Villavarayen also shared team’s experience in one of the deadliest attacks in New Zealand.
‘They were on the bus, which was just pulling up to the mosque when the shooting begun. They are at the ground, they are shaken but good,’ Villavarayen told Reuters in a twitter message.
The suspected Al Noor Mosque shooter live streamed the attack on social media for around 17 minutes, local media reported. In the footage he said his name and claimed to be a white, 28-year-old Australian-born man, the New Zealand Herald said.
The footage showed firearms with white writing and ammunition sitting on the front passenger seat and in the boot alongside petrol canisters before the gunman walked inside the mosque and opened fire on worshippers.
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