Christchruch Attack
The terrorist attacks on mosques left 49 dead (AFP Photo)

A late change in lunch timing, Mahmudullah’s press conference and an early warning from a woman combined to help Bangladesh cricketers avoid a shooting incident in a Christchurch mosque on Friday. (READ: Canterbury forgo chance to win Plunket Shield)

Mominul Haque recounted the horrible experience Bangladesh cricketers underwent as they arrived at Masjid al Noor for Friday prayers even as a shooting unfolded inside the mosque.

“Ryad [Mahmdullah] bhai asked whether we would have our lunch after the prayer or coming back from the prayer. At that point we decided that as the practice is scheduled after Jumma prayer we would have lunch after returning from the mosque. We came out after lunch. We were supposed to do have training at 2:00pm and so we were expected to reach at 1:30. We were slightly late because of Riyad bhai’s press conference,” Haque told Cricbuzz.

“Due to the presser we came out after 10 minutes. Mushfiqur bhai, Taijul and I usually at times play football among us in the dressing room, probably we got delayed by one or two minutes due to that too. When we reached the Mosque we saw everyone lying down. A woman came out talking on the phone insisting us not to go inside. Another woman from the car did the same and shouted ‘don’t go inside someone is shooting’. We understood the gravity of the incident.”

He added, “Had we reached five minutes earlier we would have been inside the mosque and everyone would have been finished. It is the grace of almighty that we reached there five minutes later.”

Haque said the players inside the bus started crying witnessing the event unfold in front of their eyes. “We were so scared and we started crying inside the bus. We saw from the bus everyone coming out of the mosque and lying down on the floor. Their body was covered with blood. We had prayed in the same mosque earlier when we were on Christchurch,” he said.

“I cannot express in words how scared we were at that point of time. You cannot imagine what it takes to see such horrendous incidents in front of your own eyes. We were crying just being afraid. Basically, we are all alive due to that woman from the car.”