Bangladesh’s cricketers are “in shock” after witnessing the fatal mass shooting in a New Zealand mosque on Friday, says opener Tamim Iqbal.
Players and coaching staff were 50 yards from the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch when the shooting began.
“The worst part was we were watching all those things happening live, so it was very scary,” said Tamim.
It is understood a pre-match news conference overran, delaying the team’s arrival at the mosque.
They were due to play New Zealand in the third Test of their series but that match, due to start on Saturday at Canterbury’s Hagley Oval, has been cancelled.
Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Tamim added: “New Zealand has been beautiful and very safe whenever we have been.
“This is the first time that, not only in New Zealand but anywhere else, that I have experienced this. It was a shock.
“The boys were mentally in shock. There are still a lot of people in shock. I was in shock too, so I couldn’t say much to them.
“It will take time to get over it,” added the 29-year-old, who said he would “pray for the victims that have lost their lives and pray for their families”.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, the main suspect in the killings, appeared in court on a single murder charge on Saturday.
Bangladesh’s coach, former England wicketkeeper Steve Rhodes, said: “Obviously the whole experience has cut up the whole team and staff.
“Everybody just totally feels for the people concerned and the families concerned; the one’s left behind sadly losing some wonderful people.
“I can’t tell you too much about the events because I was at the ground when the lads went but they’re all upset and it’s a great shame for the whole world really when things like this happen in Christchurch.
“When you’re feeling the way you’re feeling, the guys just want to be with their families and that’s totally understandable.”