Mominul Haque reveals the insights of the Bangladesh team during the Christchurch attack
"We were so scared and we started crying inside the bus."
Updated - Mar 16, 2019 6:57 pm
The Bangladesh cricket team wouldn’t have thought in their wildest dreams about what happened yesterday in New Zealand. Most of the members of the unit went to offer prayers in a mosque located in the city of Christchurch. However, at that point in time, a shooter by the name of Brendan Tarrant was firing inside the holy place and the shooting led to the demise of as many as 49 people.
The entire Bangladesh team stayed in the bus for 10 minutes, after which they were being escorted to the Hagley Oval, where the third Test was scheduled to be played, by the New Zealand police. Thereafter, it was learned that the Bangladesh players went back to the team hotel, unscathed. The horrific incident sent shockwaves around the entire nation. Moreover, the Test match was also cancelled.
The incident has been condemned from across the globe and even the New Zealand Prime Minister went to term it as ‘one of the darkest phases in the country’s history. The Bangladesh players have already boarded the flight. Nevertheless, for the support staff, a later flight has been arranged. In the meantime, left-handed batsman Mominul Haque shared the ordeal the team went through with Cricbuzz.
Here are the details
We came out after lunch. We were supposed to do have training at 2:00 PM and so we were expected to reach at 1:30. We were slightly late because of Riyad [Mahmudullah] bhai’s press conference. 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.
We were sitting inside the bus for around five to ten minutes. At that point Pilot bhai[manager] was talking with someone on the phone. Tamim bhai came from behind and we asked the driver to open the window we saw several bodies scattered all around. We decided to open the back door of the bus and came back to the ground through the park. 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.
Had we got inside the mosque then we would have sat in the back row and that man wouldn’t have kept any of us alive. He just started shooting without sparing anyone, just go through the video of the incident. We were so scared and we started crying inside the bus. While we were in the midst of the crisis, we asked the driver to go backwards but he denied saying that it is not possible as that wasn’t instructed. Probably I was on the second or third row along with Mushfiqur bhai. 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.
Yesterday Riad 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. But we somehow altered that plan and went to the mosque after completing the lunch and probably we were saved due to it. 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 who requested us not to go anywhere. Initially when the first woman came out and warned us, we thought she was ill because we never believed anything like that can happen in New Zealand but when the woman from the car through the window cautioned us saying that her car also got hit by a bullet we understood we were in for hard times.