New Zealand mosques terror attack: Bangladesh cricket team arrive home after Christchurch massacre

Bangladesh cricket team arrived home in Dhaka on Saturday, a day after narrowly escaping the mosque attack that killed 49 people in New Zealand.

Agence France-Presse, Mar 17, 2019 09:59:40 IST

Dhaka: The Bangladesh cricket team arrived home in Dhaka on Saturday, a day after narrowly escaping the mosque attack that killed 49 people in New Zealand.

At least 17 members of the Bangladesh cricket team drove up to Christchurch's Masjid al Noor mosque in a bus to join Friday prayers when a gunman stormed the building, in what is thought to be the worst act of terror directed against Muslims in a Western country.

The team arrived at Dhaka airport late Saturday, according to Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Rabeed Imam.

Bangladeshi cricketer Mushfikur Rahim with other team players come out from the VIP terminal in Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 16, 2019. Bangladesh's cricket team arrived home on Saturday after its tour of New Zealand was abandoned following the Christchurch mosque shootings a day earlier. (AP Photo) /// -- Delhi Photo Desk, Associated Press. E- delphotos@gmail.com E- newdelhiphotos@ap.org T- +91 11 43660415-9

Bangladeshi cricketer Mushfiqur Rahim alongwith other teammates players arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka. AP

"The only thing I can say that we are very lucky," skipper Mahmudllah told reporters after arrival.

"With all of your prayers... now we could return here alive. I cannot describe what is going inside us, what we have seen," he added."

"All of us in the team could not sleep properly. The only thing that popped up in our mind was how lucky we are."

Mahmudllah also thanked the BCB and New Zealand Cricket for making arrangements to help them return home quickly.

The team was in Christchurch for their third and final Test match against the home side scheduled to begin Saturday, which was promptly cancelled to allow the cricketers to return home as soon as possible.

Team manager Khaled Mashud said players and staff on the bus watched as blood-soaked victims staggered from the building.

They stayed in the bus for eight to 10 minutes before leaving it after sensing danger, according to Mashud.

Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal said it would be difficult for the national cricket team to overcome the shock of narrowly escaping the shooting.

"It will certainly take some time for us to get out of it after the experience we had here," he told reporters at Christchurch airport, moments before the team left for Bangladesh.

"It is better that we are returning... because everyone's family is worried. I just hope after returning home we can overcome it with the passing of time," Tamim said.

Dhaka complained that players were not provided with any security when they travelled to the mosque.

"In future, whenever we send our cricket team abroad we will do that after examining and reviewing the security matters of the host countries," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Saturday, according to the state-run news agency BSS.

Australia's cricket team cancelled a tour in Bangladesh in 2015, citing a lack of security, while the Australian Under-19 cricket team skipped ICC Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2016 on the same ground.

England's cricket team was provided security equal to that of a head of a state when they visited Bangladesh in 2016, months after one of the worst extremist attacks on foreigners in a Dhaka cafe.

Updated Date: Mar 17, 2019 09:59:40 IST







Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5007 116
2 New Zealand 3570 108
3 South Africa 4397 105
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
6 Sri Lanka 4737 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 7259 123
2 India 8508 120
3 New Zealand 6071 112
4 South Africa 6181 112
5 Australia 4951 103
6 Pakistan 4872 102
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 5280 135
2 India 5726 122
3 Australia 3613 120
4 England 2737 119
5 South Africa 2960 118
6 New Zealand 3367 116