Bangladesh cricketers arrive home after mosque shootings

Rex Christensen
March 17, 2019

The match was called off after the attack left at least 49 people killed and dozen others wounded.

In a chilling account, Khaled Mashud described how most of the Bangladeshi team drove up to the Masjid al Noor in a bus just as the attack got underway.

"The players are shaken up but fine", Villavarayen said.

New Zealand internationals Martin Guptill and Lockie Ferguson, who play first class cricket for Auckland, also withdrew from their team's match with Otago in Dunedin.

"We'd initially been looking at the players and the support staff returning in two batches, but we've managed seats for all, obviously not in the Business Class".

"Importantly, our players are safe".

Chowdhury reiterated the BCB president Nazmul Hassan's stance, saying that they would not visit any country unless there is minimum security standard.

Mohammad Islam, a journalist traveling with the Bangladesh team, earlier said he believed the players would leave New Zealand as soon as possible.

New Zealand Police said that three men and one woman had been taken into custody. If a country provides proper security as per our demand, then we will go, otherwise not. "I think everything changes now".

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"All of us in the team could not sleep properly".

The test match, which had been scheduled to start on Saturday, was cancelled after the shooting.

"We are shocked and appalled, as I'm sure all New Zealanders are", NZ Cricket chief executive David White told TVNZ.

"It's quite unbelievable really". At this point I still have no idea what actually has happened; I don't even know if the team was the target of the attack. India captain Virat Kohli also wished the Bangladesh cricket team's safe stay.

"Entire team got saved from active shooters!" tweeted Tamim Iqbal.

"Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers". Another player, Mushfiqur Rahim, noted that the team was "extremely lucky" to avoid the tragedy. "We are lucky to escape and can't imagine what would have happened had we entered the mosque just five minutes earlier".

Pakistan Embassy in New Zealand is continuously in contact with the local administration.

Coach Steve Rhodes said the squad were still in shock from the incident. "This is and will be one of New Zealand's darkest days".

It is to be noted that the Bangladesh Cricket team is now in New Zealand for an ODI and a Test series against the hosts. There is no rule that security manager or team will visit with the visiting country. After this, the cricketing body banned global cricket in Pakistan. "There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was", Arden said. Two other men and one woman were also detained and firearms were seized, although it is now not clear if they were linked to the attacks.

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