Bangladesh’s cricket team arrived home after its tour of New Zealand was abandoned following the Christchurch mosque shootings a day earlier.

Forty-nine people were killed after a gunman attacked two mosques in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s modern history.

A bus carrying members of the Bangladesh squad had just driven into a street near one of the mosques when the shooting started. Players and support staff had planned to pray at the mosque before continuing on to the Hagley Oval ground where it was due to play the third test.

The match, which was due to start on Saturday, was cancelled and the Bangladesh squad flew home.

“We had a sleepless night after the incident,” said the team’s stand-in captain Mahmudullah. “We are lucky to escape and can’t imagine what would have happened had we entered the mosque just five minutes earlier. Thanks to the BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) for bringing us back to the country very quickly.”

BCB president Nazmul Hassan said: “The players are still in a traumatic state. It will take time for them to recover.”

Bangladesh was whitewashed by New Zealand in the three-match series of one-day internationals and also lost the first two tests.

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