David Warner could be a key player for Australia in World Cup if he is pickedDaniel Kalisz/Getty ImagesDavid Warner’s comeback to top-level cricket has generated a furious debate in the Australian cricket community about his possible return to the national side for World Cup duty. There is no doubt about the quality and capability of the stocky Australian. If batting was the only criteria looked at for selection, he would get into the squad easily.But it’s not that simple. The Aussies are on an eight-match winning streak. Some wonder whether it would be a wise move to disturb the apple-cart. On top of that, the form of the current batsmen has made it difficult to find a spot for Warner in the team.But the biggest question being asked about Warner’s eligibility is whether he adversely affects the dressing room atmosphere. There has been a lot of speculation in Australian media about the aversion some players have towards Warner.Many are not convinced that he can be re-assimilated in the new environment around the team. Others, on the other hand, believe the weight of his runs should decide the issue. Let’s look at what some of the big names have said on this issue.Shane WarneAussie legend Shane Warne not only wants Warner to play in the World Cup but predicts that he would win the player of the tournament award. According to the former leg-spinner, a year-off would allow Warner to regain his composure and bat with the desired focus, thus becoming more effective. Warne cited his own example of returning from a one-year ban in 2004 and achieving great success for the next few years.Matthew HaydenThe legendary Australian opening batsman believes Warner, as well as Smith, should be back into the team for the World Cup. Hayden went to the extent of saying that both these players need to be selected even if they don’t perform well in IPL.Graeme SmithFormer South Africa captain Graeme Smith believes if Warner’s ego is not managed properly, he could have a pernicious effect on the team. In the view of Smith, the stocky opener needs Australian cricket more than it needs him. But he also accepts that Warner possesses great ability and would be an asset with the bat for his team. Justin Langer says performance would determine whether Warner comes backScott Barbour/Getty ImagesAaron FinchThe man who would be most affected by this decision is the Australian ODI captain Aaron Finch. He restricted his comments to the difficulty of fitting them into the team. Finch said the selectors will find it ‘bloody hard’ to pick the 15 players as there are a lot of contenders. The right-hander also warned that some players would be unlucky to be left out – Warner could well be one of them.Justin LangerThe coach of the Australian team has made performance the criteria for judging whether Warner can be back in the team. He said all three previously banned players will be welcome in the side if they perform well. However, Langer did add that the environment also needs to be right for their comeback, stressing on the need for strong young leaders. This may be due to the fear of Warner imposing himself on others.Ricky PontingTwo-time World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting flagged some concerns regarding the return of Warner, as well as, Smith. He believes that these players would draw excessive attention and that could not only affect their performance but also of their team. Punter advised Australian team to keep this in mind when selecting the squad.
Election CommissionField-level officials of the election commission (EC) are in favour of deploying defence personnel as regular law enforcement to create confidence among voters during the next general elections.They came up with these recommendations as their opinion was sought in order to amend 14 laws, rules and directives ahead of the 11th parliamentary polls.Reinsertion of the provision for ‘No’ option in the ballot paper is another of the 58 recommendations the officials submitted to the law section of the EC secretariat.EC officials said the draft recommendations will be placed at the EC’s consultation meetings with the political parties, civil society leaders and election experts likely to begin soon.The armed forces — army, navy, and air force — were included as a law enforcement agency alongside police, armed police, RAB, ansar, BGB (then BDR), and the coast guard, in the amended version of the Representation of People Order during the past caretaker government in 2008. However, in 2013, the armed forces were excluded from the definition of law enforcement agency as per RPO.Inclusion of the armed forces as a law enforcement agency is being emphasised in view of the fact that the election would be held under the incumbent political government. It is believed to be important for creating an even field for all political parties.”Army deployment is necessary to create confidence in the minds of the voters. In fact, it would be hard to hold a fair election without the army. We cannot understand it why it had been removed from the definition of law enforcement,” said former election commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain.The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has all along favoured army deployment while the ruling Awami League wants to keep the army only as striking force.BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed reiterated the party’s demand for deployment of the armed forces and added that the BNP wants election-time supportive government for the sake of fair election.AL presidium member, health minister Mohammad Nasim said the army should be deployed during the next general elections the way current election law has defined.However, Jatiya Party leader GM Quader said, if the army deployment creates confidence among the political parties, army should be included as law enforcement in the electoral laws.Although the EC officials recommended reintroduction of the provision for allowing ‘No’ vote as a choice of electorates, both the AL and the BNP do not consider it important.* This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Khawaza Main Uddin.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina. Photo: BSSRuling Awami League general secretary and minister Obaidul Quader has alleged that there is a conspiracy to kill prime minister Sheikh Hasina.However, his cabinet colleague, industries minister Amir Hossain has denied having any evidence of such a plot.After a meeting of the cabinet committee on the law and order on Sunday, Amir Hossain was asked to comment on the reports in India and Myanmar that claimed an attempt on life of Hasina was foiled.The industries minister, who chaired the meeting, said they did not feel that the news item had any element of truth.The government-run news agency BSS ran a story prepared by India-based CNN-News18 that reported that Bangladesh security agencies upset the plot assumed to have hatched by a Pakistani intelligence agency in consultation with BNP chief Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman. The original report was written by Indian journalist Subir Bhaumik.In Bandarban on Sunday, Obaidul Quader claimed that certain quarters at home and abroad, being jealous of popularity of Hasina, were engaged in conspiracy to kill her.“Their conspiracy will not be successful,” the AL leader expressed confidence.He also said when the prime minster was appreciated worldwide for her stance on the Rohingya issue, a political party at home was criticising her.