Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Bangladesh cricketers arrive home after mosque shootings

Bangladesh cricketers arrive home after mosque shootings

In about eight to 10 minutes, the police cordoned off the area and we took just took the back exit of the bus and rushed into the nearby park and ran towards the cricket ground.

However, when the players were about to enter the mosque, a woman warned them that there was shooting inside and the team took cover on the floor of their bus. Among the first to tweet from the location, Srinivas said all they saw was bloodshed.

"This is shocking. This will change the entire fabric of worldwide sports hosting", he said. As a country, we'll have to look at [security of visiting teams].

"This is significant and I can tell you now this is and will be one of New Zealand's darkest days".

The national Bangladesh team have been in New Zealand, taking part in a three test match series.

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The Bangladesh team were set to leave Christchurch at midday, and while happy to be heading home to their families, Mashud said they wanted to pass on their support to the New Zealand people.

"When I arrived the scene around the mosque was very chaotic". We could not move the vehicle because that would take the bus closer to the mosque and chances were high that we could be in trouble. If we were there three to four minutes earlier, we would have been in the mosque, massive thing might have happened.

People move the flowers after police removed a police line, outside Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 16, 2019.

'We were about 17 people in the bus (only batsman Liton Das, off-spinner Nayeem Hasan were away).

"Both Martin and Lockie felt personally uncomfortable making the trip to Dunedin given the events in Christchurch, and also, the feelings and concerns of their partners and families", Simon Isley, the Auckland high-performance manager, said.

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Seemingly to be the last player to get onboard the plane, Mushfiqur Rahim was interviewed by Xinhua News Agency.

He said he was born "to a working class, low-income family ... who made a decision to take a stand to ensure a future for my people".

He added: "This isn't about cricket; it's about something much bigger and much more important than that". It's about life, it's about respect.

Leaving behind Friday's scary experience in Christchurch, the Bangladesh cricketers were relieved to be boarding the flight back home.

Record-breaking ex-All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter, a long-time player for Christchurch's Crusaders team, tweeted: "Sending love to everyone in Christchurch right now".

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The video showed a man driving to the Al Noor mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people with a semi-automatic rifle. The terrorist also said in his anti-immigrant "manifesto" that he came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack.

Bangladesh's cricket team left New Zealand on Saturday, less than 24 hours after narrowly avoiding being involved in the worst mass shooting with cricket board officials saying the country is no longer immune from acts of terrorism.

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