Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fixing claim hits Bangladesh's IPL-style event

Bangladesh's inaugural Twenty20 league opened on a sour note on Thursday when a leading player revealed he had received a spot-fixing proposition.

Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said he had been approached by an unnamed player regarding potential spot-fixing when he turns out as skipper of the Dhaka Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

"I have told my team management about the approach and I'm sure they will do the right thing," Mortaza told the Cricinfo website. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed the report.

Dhaka newspapers reported that Mortaza said he would step down from the team captaincy if he suspected any irregularities once the tournament -- styled along the lines of the successful Indian Premier League (IPL) -- got going.

Mortaza was asked to provide information on whether he would play certain matches and even whether he would be wearing his sunglasses or a cap when he takes the field.

In exchange, he was told, he would be paid 15-20 percent of the earnings from the spot-betting.
BCB officials said Mortaza has been asked to reveal the name of the player who made the approach.
"This is a very serious offence," BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus told AFP. "We have zero tolerance towards these things and will do whatever is needed to nail it down quickly.

"Mortaza has to disclose the name of the player. It needs to be addressed very seriously."

Mortaza will be speaking to officials of the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption Security Unit before the matches get under way on Friday, Yunus said.

Thursday is the opening ceremony for an event where West Indians Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard are the leading players. The six-team league is to be played in Dhaka and Chittagong, with the final on February 29.

Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, the most expensive foreign player at last month's auction after being sold to the Dhaka Gladiators franchise for $700,000, is not taking part due to international commitments.
Pakistan begin a one-day series against England in the United Arab Emirates this week.

2 shot by BSF in Satkhira

Two Bangladeshi cattle traders were injured as Indian Border Security Force (BSF) fired bullets at Keragachhi frontier in Kalaroa upazila of Satkhira early Thursday. 

The firing incident took place a day after the comment of BSF chief UK Bansal that it would not be possible to put a total stop to the firing along the India-Bangladesh border as Indian troops must take steps to stop the offenders. 

Our Satkhira correspondent identified the victim as Yakub Ali, 25, son of one Daud Ali of Keragachhi village in Kalaroa upazila and Abdul Hamil, 30, son of one Abdul Karim Sardar of Sharsha upazila in Jessore.

Talking to The Daily Star, Lt Col Abu Basit, commanding officer of 38 Battalion of Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), said the BSF members from Tarali camp opened fire on the duo around 12:55am when they were waiting along Keragachhi bordering area to receive their consignment from Indian traders.

A commander-level flag meeting was going on at the zero point in Keragachhi frontier at 11:50am when this report was filed. 

Our Kushtia correspondent reports: Members of Monaganj BSF camp detained four Bangladeshi cattle traders when they went to Murshidabad crossing Benipur bordering area Tuesday afternoon.
Later, the BSF troops handed over the detainees to Monaganj Police Station.

Lt Col Sultan Ahmed, commanding officer of 35 BGB Battalion, said the Indian border guard captured them while they went to Indian territory crossing Banipur border in Jibonnagar upazila of Chuadanga around 4:00pm.

The detainees are: Khairul Islam, 23, Suman Ali, 22, Rakibul Islam Laltu, 25, and Saiful Islam, 26. They are from different villages in the upazila.

BGB Kusumpur Camp Commander Havildar Rezaul Karim told The Daily Star that they sent a letter to the Monaganj BSF camp for holding a flag meeting in this regard. 

New CEC Kazi Rakib takes oath

The newly appointed chief election commissioner and three out of four election commissioners took oath of office Thursday afternoon.

The other Election Commissioner, Mohammad Shahnewaz, will take oath later. 

Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain will administer the oath at the Judges' Lounge of the Supreme Court at 4:30pm. 

Sources said the new EC may start working in a day or two.

President Zillur Rahman on Wednesday formed the five-member Election Commission with Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, a former secretary, as the chief election commissioner.

The four other election commissioners are Mohammad Abu Hafiz, a former additional secretary; Mohammad Abdul Mobarrak, a former joint secretary; Brig Gen (retd) Mohammad Zabed Ali; and Mohammad Shahnewaz, a former district and sessions judge.

The new Election Commission (EC) will have a five-year tenure, and will hold the next parliamentary election scheduled for early 2014.

The Cabinet Division published a gazette notification hours after the appointment to that effect.

BPL T20 opening ceremony today

The grand opening ceremony of the Bangladesh Premier League T20 tournament will be held in Dhaka on Thursday.

President Zillur Rahman is expected to inaugurate the first edition of the competition at 6:30pm at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in the city’s Mirpur.

In the ceremony, a segment on Mother Language Day will follow performances by Indian and local silver screen stars. 

Bipasha Basu, Malaika Arora Khan, Rituparna Sengupta from India and Shamim Ara Nipa, Shibli Mohammad, Shakib Khan and Apu Bishwas from Bangladesh will perform at the ceremony while singers Shaan, Bappi Lahiri also confirmed their participation along with Ayub Bacchu, Kumar Biswajit, Mila and popular band Miles.

The tournament will start Friday with matches between Barisal Burners and Sylhet Royals and Chittagong Kings taking on Duronto Rajshahi.

The competition will start with a double round robin group stage, in which each of the 6 teams will play against every other team twice followed by two semi-finals and the final.

A total of 33 matches will be held during the tournament. Of those, 25 will be held in Dhaka while the eight in Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium in Chittagong. 

The final is slated on February 29 in Dhaka.

Maldives court 'arrest warrant' for Mohamed Nasheed

A criminal court in the Maldives has issued an arrest warrant for former President Mohamed Nasheed, officials from his party say. 

The report comes a day after Mr Nasheed was among dozens injured in Male when riot police used tear gas against protesters as unrest intensified. 

Mr Nasheed resigned on Tuesday amid protests over his rule. He says he was forced to resign by security forces. 

It is unclear what the charges against the former president might be. 

Senior officials in Mr Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) say there is also a warrant for the arrest of his former defence minister, Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu. 

There are reports, too, that the family of Mr Nasheed have fled to neighbouring Sri Lanka. A spokesman for the Sri Lankan president told AFP that Mr Nasheed's wife and daughter had arrived in Colombo.

Safety concerns
Mr Nasheed is at his residence talking to the media. Thousands of supporters have also gathered there. It is not clear when he might be arrested, but MDP officials said security forces were on their way to arrest him.
The BBC's Andrew North, who is also at the residence, reports that Mr Nasheed has said he is worried about his safety.

The UK's High Commissioner to the Maldives, John Rankin, has expressed his concern that no harm comes to Mr Nasheed.

"It would be matter of serious concern for us and the international community if it did," Mr Rankin said.
Security forces have also been deployed to the Maldives' second-largest city of Addu, where there have been reports of more violence. 

On Wednesday several thousand Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters, led by Mr Nasheed, marched through the streets of the capital in protest at his ousting. 

The violence spread to outlying islands, where there were reports that several police stations had been overrun by supporters of Mr Nasheed.

That night, police said on state television that the protests led by Mr Nasheed were "an act of terrorism". 

But Amnesty International has issued a statement saying that Maldivian security forces attacked supporters of Mr Nasheed during the demonstrations and also failed to protect them from counter-demonstrators. 

Killing at border unacceptable: BGB chief

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Chief Maj Gen Anwar Hossain said on Thursday that killing at the border under any circumstances is not acceptable.

“Killing in no way is acceptable,” he told UNB over telephone responding to Indian BSF Chief UK Bansal’s remark that the firing at the border won’t stop as they need to prevent the offenders.

Gen Anwar said: “We condemn killing wherever it takes place including at the border.”

He added: “Our standpoint is very clear: We don’t shoot. We don’t shoot at Indian trespassers; we arrest them and try under the laws of our land. We strictly follow the International Human Rights convention.”

The BGB director general said if any Bangladesh national illegally crosses the international boundary, he may be arrested and tried under the law of that country.

Replying to a question, he said the BGB remains alert all the time. “We are constantly advising the frontier people not to cross the border illegally.”

Asked about the coordinated border management with Indian BSF, he said it has already started and so far 900 joint patrols have been carried out, improving the situation along the common border.

Gen Anwar said the incident of killing at the border is on the decline, mentioning that in the past two months two people were killed at the border.

“We’ve very cordial relations with our counterparts. If any incident happens, we hold flag meeting or local commander level meeting to resolve the problem instantly,” he said.