Bangladesh abandon New Zealand tour after Mosque massacre

Silvia Morton
March 17, 2019

The team had just arrived at the Al Noor Mosque for Friday prayer when a gunman opened fire, and after hiding on the team bus for almost 10 minutes, they then fled the scene back to nearby Hagley Oval, where the now-cancelled third cricket test was set to take place.

Most of the Bangladeshi team and staff had arrived at Christchurch's Masjid al Noor mosque for Friday prayers when they were warned not to go inside as the shooting unfolded.

Mario Villavarayan, the team's strength and conditioning coach, said it had been a close call.

Asked whether the team had been offered support to cope with the massive shooting, Rahim said they considered themselves lucky enough to escape.

Dhaka complained that players were not provided with any security when they headed for the mosque.

"Importantly, our players are safe". Players were shaken, distressed and in no mental state to consider playing cricket. "I just hope after returning home we can overcome it with the passing of time", Tamim said.

"We have always maintained that this kind of incident can happen to any country".

"We'll certainly be having to look at our security in depth".

"When Australia, England were anxious about our security, we told that no country is safe from terrorist attack".

"There were bodies all over me", he said.

"We will set up a minimum security standard for future".

New Zealand's worst peacetime mass killing rippled through the country's top-class sports on Saturday with two high profile events cancelled and the first class cricket title being decided without a ball being bowled in the final round of matches.

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Reports said the team is under lockdown in its dressing room at the stadium from which manager Khaled Mashud has remained in contact with officials from New Zealand Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

Ahmad Al-Mahmoud, 37, described the shooter as white-skinned, blond, quite short and wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest.

Mohammad Isam, a journalist traveling with the Bangladesh team, said he believed the players wish to leave New Zealand as soon as possible.

The All Blacks, New Zealand's all-conquering rugby team and the reigning world champions, tweeted: "Christchurch, we stand with you during this time".

"Entire team got saved from active shooters", batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted, per the BBC.

'Just escaped active shooters!

"Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack".

'Everyone have seen (what had happened), we did not expect this, we were lucky, ' Mashud told reporters in Christchurch.

New Zealand cricketer Jimmy Neesham expressed a similar sense of shock and loss. White said Friday's incident would "greatly affect" the country.

"There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was", Arden said.

The Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped Friday's terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

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