from New Age
Tarique, Arafat bowl out the day
In a bid to play down the Awami League’s programme to lay siege to the Hawa Bhaban, Tarique and Arafat Rahman, the two sons of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia who use the BNP chairperson’s office for party activities of their own, played a friendly cricket match at a nearby Banani field on Wednesday.
Tarique proved to be a fast learner as his eleven won the match defeating Arafat’s team even though his younger brother taught him the basics of batting only before the game.
Arafat, the chairman of the development committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, was not unhappy to lose the match as “it was just a friendly game”.
Asked why he preferred to play cricket on the day the Awami League was scheduled to lay siege to his de-facto political base of Hawa Bhaban, Tarique, the senior joint secretary-general of the BNP, told reporters at the playground, “Everyone at Hawa Bhaban wanted to play; so we played!”
Asked if he found any similarity between cricket and politics, an apparently relaxed Tarique said, “No. The two are different subjects. That is politics. This is cricket.”
Tarique avoided commenting on the opposition’s siege programme, simply saying, “Today I won the match and I feel good.”
He dismissed allegations of corruption and crime frequently levelled against the Hawa Bhaban, asking his opponents to specify and substantiate their sweeping remarks.
“All this is Awami League’s politics of falsehood. Why don’t you ask them if they have any evidence? Let them speak specifically if they can,” he said.
Replying to a question about the opposition demand for midterm elections, the young BNP stalwart said nothing has happened in the country that calls for such snap polls.
He said the demand for midterm elections was only the demand of a single party. “I don’t think that they (AL) possess the power to take such a big decision.”
On the field, the Green team led by Arafat elected to bat first after winning the toss. They scored 94 before being bowled out in 20 overs.
Tarique’s Red team scored 96 in 12 overs losing only two wickets.
Tarique, however, did not bat or bowl. Arafat, lawmakers Shah Nurul Kabir Shahin and Rashiduzzaman Millat, and Hawa Bhaban stalwart Gias Uddin Al Mamun, also a close business and personal ally of Tarique, participated in the match.
A section of Hawa Bhaban admirers including the prime minister’s political secretary Haris Chowdhury, advisor to the commerce ministry Barkat Ullah Bulu, deputy minister for land Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu, lawmakers Nazim Uddin Alam, Eliyas Ali, Zahiruddin Swapan, Nadim Mustafa, Abul Khair Bhuiyan, BNP city secretary general Abdus Salam, and Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal leaders Khairul Kabir Khokan and Ali Akkas Nadim were among the spectators.
Kachchi biriyani was served to all at the game.