The Bangladesh national cricket team barely missed one of the two fatal mass shootings that took place Friday in a New Zealand mosque.
Team Manager Khaled Mashud told the BBC that the team was “50 yards” away from the Al Noor mosque and that “if [they] were there five minutes earlier, it would have been worse.”
The team arrived at the mosque after a news conference for their upcoming match, which has now been canceled. The news conference reportedly ran overtime, causing the cricket team to arrive late to the mosque.
Bangladesh player Tamim Iqbal reacted on Twitter. He posted, “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers.”
Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack
— Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) March 15, 2019
Mohammad Isam, the Bangladesh ESPN correspondent, said he was with the team at the time the attack happened.
“The players were breaking down, they had seen way too much in the 15 minutes they were held up in the bus, there was no security because it is such a peaceful country,” Isam told BBC. “The players heard shots being fired, they saw people tumbling out of the gates and ducked under the bus.”
Nineteen members including all the 15 players of the Bangladesh National Team and supporting stuff are expected to reach Dhaka at 22h40 tomorrow (Saturday).
— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) March 15, 2019
Two attacks at two mosques killed at least 49 people in Christchurch. One suspect has been charged with murder, according to authorities cited by NBC News.