Bangladesh players 'very lucky' to avoid Christchurch massacre

By Sports Desk March 15, 2019

Team manager Khaled Mashud said Bangladesh players and staff were "very lucky" to escape unharmed as they were "three or four minutes" away from being inside a mosque where a terror attack unfolded on Friday.

Mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques resulted in 49 people being killed and 48 injured.

Mashud revealed that the majority of the tourists' squad were inside a bus outside the Al Noor mosque while a massacre took place and saw "bloodstained people staggering out".

He is quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. "This was a kind of accident that we would never expect nor want in any part of the world.

"We are very lucky because we had a number of us, about 17 of us, in the bus. Soumya Sarkar was also there, and we were all heading to the mosque for prayers.

"Only two of the players [Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan, as well as spin-bowling coach Sunil Joshi] had stayed back in the hotel, and rest of the squad had gone there. We were very close to the mosque, and we could see from the bus. We must have been about 50 yards from the mosque.

"I would say we were really lucky. Had we reached even three or four minutes earlier, we probably would have been inside the mosque. This could then have been a massive incident.

"We are very thankful that we weren't caught in the crossfire, but what we saw was straight out of a movie scene. We could see bloodstained people staggering out of the mosque.

"Maybe in about eight-ten minutes, we were all inside the bus and were sitting with our heads bowed, just in case someone fires at us."

The third and final Test at Hagley Oval - which was due to start on Saturday - was called off following the attacks and the Bangladesh squad will fly home as soon as possible.

Mashud said the players and staff ran through Hagley Park to the ground after being allowed to get off the bus.

He added: "When we realised that the shooters could have inflicted more damage if they had found us inside the bus all at once, we took a collective decision to escape through the back gate.

"We ran or quickly walked out through that gate. Then we were in the dressing room, and the local liaison people explained to us how we could get out of there most safely to our hotel.

"It wasn't their fault, they tried their best according to whatever they are used to in their culture. Our players supported them a lot, with inputs on what was needed at that point of time.

"Our decision to get out was timely, because in videos we saw that people came out and kept shooting later."

Related items

  • The Australia ball-tampering scandal one year on: Have the batsmen filled the Smith-Warner void? The Australia ball-tampering scandal one year on: Have the batsmen filled the Smith-Warner void?

    Australia have played 43 games across all formats in the time Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned - and the statistics suggest the two should have no problem walking back into the XI for the upcoming Ashes.

    Ex-captain Smith and former vice-captain Warner are available to be selected for their country again from this week when the 12-month bans for their roles in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal come to an end.

    Here, with the help of Opta, we take a look at how Australia's batsmen have fared across all three formats over the past year without the duo.

     

    TESTS (P9 W3 D2 L4)

    The first Test without Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft, who was given a nine-month ban for his part in the saga, ended in a 492-run loss to South Africa as the Proteas wrapped up a 3-1 series success.

    Matthew Renshaw was one of those drafted in for that final match in Johannesburg, but having scored a cumulative 13 across two innings, he has not appeared in a Test since. 

    Peter Handscomb initially filled Smith's spot at four and averaged fewer than 19 across seven innings, though Joe Burns was one of the success stories, the opener's 180 against Sri Lanka last month helping him to an average of 50 over the past year.

    Travis Head (51) had a better average than Burns in that time, but openers Aaron Finch (27.8) and Marcus Harris (32.7) were unable to replicate Warner (48.2), particularly when they struggled in a 2-1 home series loss to India.

    Having made his Test debut in October, Marnus Labuschagne batted at four in the recent two-match series with Sri Lanka, yet his average of 26.3 pales in comparison with Smith's 61.4.

     

    ODIS (P18 W7 L11)

    With a World Cup on English soil looming on the horizon later in 2019, Australia's 50-over fortunes were looking grim as little as three weeks ago.

    A five-match series in India began with defeats in the opening two matches, meaning the world champions had lost 11 of 13 ODIs since the Newlands scandal.

    But a stunning comeback sealed a 3-2 win over Virat Kohli's men, and Australia have continued that momentum in the UAE, where successive Finch hundreds mean the tourists lead Pakistan 2-0 in a best-of-five contest.

    Those centuries have lifted Finch's ODI average across the past year to 39.4, while the likes of Usman Khawaja (60.9), Shaun Marsh (59.3) and Handscomb (52.1) have all benefitted from opportunities they may not otherwise have had.

    Two months out from the start of the World Cup, the holders appear to be finding form at just the right time, and the returns of Smith and Warner will leave head coach Justin Langer nursing a welcome selection headache.

     

    TWENTY20S (P16 W7 L8 NR1)

    Smith's ban had little effect on his nation's T20 form - the 29-year-old having not featured in that format since March 2016 - yet Warner left a bigger void to fill having scored more than any other Australian in the shortest format.

    Despite that, four leading batsmen averaged more than Warner's 26.7 over the previous 12 months.

    Finch amassed 465 runs, though that total comes with the caveat that 324 of those were accrued in his first three innings. In his past 13 T20 knocks for Australia, Finch has averaged only 10.8.

    All-rounder Glenn Maxwell (averaging 34), D'Arcy Short (28.3) and Head (27.3) were the others to shine in Warner and Smith's absences.

  • Warner's timely knock overshadowed by Russell's fireworks in Knight Riders win Warner's timely knock overshadowed by Russell's fireworks in Knight Riders win

    David Warner smashed 85 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in a timely reminder of his quality ahead of his international ban ending, yet that effort came in a losing cause as Andre Russell and Shubman Gill guided Kolkata Knight Riders to a six-wicket Indian Premier League win.  

    Opening batsman Warner is free to be selected by Australia again from next week, when his one-year suspension following the ball-tampering scandal is up, and he hit three sixes and nine fours in a fine 53-run ball knock.  

    His 118-run opening partnership with IPL debutant Jonny Bairstow (39) and Vijay Shankar's unbeaten 40 lifted the Sunrisers to 181-3, a total that Kolkata appeared unable to match when Russell and Gill came together with 27 balls remaining.

    However, thanks largely to Russell's devastating hitting in his unbeaten 49 not out from just 19 balls, the Knight Riders reached their target with two balls to spare as Gill (18 not out) struck his second maximum off Shakib Al Hasan to seal it.

    Though England international Bairstow has played far more cricket in recent weeks, it was Warner who displayed greater fluency for the Sunrisers, moving to his 50 by jumping off the ground to cut Russell for six.

    Bairstow failed to connect with Piyush Chawla's long hop when bowled and Warner was eventually removed by a terrific diving catch at cover from Robin Uthappa off the bowling off Russell, who also accounted for Yusuf Pathan, though Shankar's contribution gave the Sunrisers' bowlers a good score to defend.

    The cheap dismissal of Chris Lynn in the second over left the Knight Riders further up against it - and they were still well short of where the Sunrisers were at the same stage when Uthappa (35) was bowled by a brilliant Siddarth Kaul yorker in the 12th over.

    Dinesh Karthik was dismissed in the next over and the Knight Riders looked like being left with too much to do when Nitish Rana (68) was out lbw to Rashid Khan following a delay due to floodlight failure, yet Russell and Gill had other ideas.


    WARNER MAKES UP FOR LOST TIME

    Under intense scrutiny given the timing of his IPL return, Warner showed no signs of either pressure or rust as he made the highest score of the match. 

    The 32-year-old has now scored 37 IPL half-centuries, more than anyone else in the competition's history, despite missing last year's tournament following the fallout from his international ban.

    FLOODLIGHTS OUT...BUT RUSSELL PROVIDES THE SPARK

    When Rana went lbw in the 16th over from the first ball after a delay of over 10 minutes caused by the lights in one of the towers going off, it appeared the Knight Riders were down and out too. 

    They did not need to worry, though, as Russell lit up Eden Gardens with a display of brutal hitting, scoring 17 of the 18 runs that came from Kaul's final over and all 21 off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's last set of six, which allowed Gill to finish the job.

  • Skerritt makes last-ditch call for change ahead of CWI elections Skerritt makes last-ditch call for change ahead of CWI elections

    Cricket West Indies presidential candidate, Ricky Skerritt, had one final message before Sunday’s election for the post takes place in Jamaica on Sunday – vote for change. 

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.