The Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped the deadly shooting at a mosque in New Zealand’s Christchurch on Friday. Attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead and several others injured. Recalling the horrific incident, the Bangladesh cricket team’s performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran said that the team bus was barely metres away from the scene of the carnage when the players first heard gunshots. “We couldn’t react initially. In such a horror situation, your brain automatically freezes as you are terrified. That’s exactly happened to all of us,” Chandrasekaran said.
Bangladesh cricketers had planned to offer the Friday prayers before heading to nearby Hagley Oval for practice.
New Zealand and Bangladesh were scheduled to play the third and final Test starting in Christchurch on Saturday.
In the wake of the shooting attack, the match has been called off by the joint decision of both cricket boards.
Chandrasekaran added that initially they didn’t even realise that it was a terror attack.
“It was a few metres away from the mosque and we suddenly heard gunshots. Neither the players nor me initially realised what was happening. Suddenly we saw this woman fainting on the road. We thought it was a medical emergency and some of the boys wanted to get down from the bus and help the lady,” said Chandrasekaran.
“However, we realised that it was something much bigger than what we had thought. We saw people running for their lives and blood everywhere and suddenly we were all told to lie down quietly on the floor of the bus. I don’t know for how many minutes we lay on the floor of the bus. Once we understood, everyone was calm and did what was told,” said Chandrasekaran.
It was some time before the police arrived and they were escorted out of the backdoor of the team bus and taken to the ground.
“It is obvious that all the players and support staff are in a state of shock. They are all too shocked to react.”
Chandrasekaran, who earlier worked with IPL franchise SunRisers Hyderabad and joined the Bangladesh cricket team in 2018, thanked both the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) as well as New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for their prompt reaction.
“We all are waiting to return home. The players will be leaving for Bangladesh and I am also waiting for my return ticket to India,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)