THE WIZARD OF OZ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 09, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 09, 2015



Perhaps it is an unprecedented, albeit a fatalistic and fatal instance of co-operation between Italy and Australia. With the tragic murder of the Italian national in Dhaka (our way of saying 'thank you' for coming here to our aid), Australia finally makes its case to cancel its cricket trip to Bangladesh. Maybe the OZs can now push to cancel the question-paper-leaked admission test of medical colleges, or cancel the cancelled emissions tests of Volkswagens in the UK and US. 

Meanwhile, fingers are pointed at IS for the Dhaka and Rangpur killings. “Who? Us? Uhm, sure!” Says IS. The world, with not a day without an unusual death, is an à la carte option for IS to pick and choose from to beef up its score card. However, not sure if the IS can get any mileage out of the fatal shootings outside the Sydney police station in the form of its windfall from terroristic plagiarisms in Dhaka and Rangpur, but the fact remains that the Aussies are now in a bind. If Dhaka is not safe, if Sydney is not safe, where do they play? Downtown Damascus? 

Not sure if the initial fear from Down Under was really that of a Banglawash. Shahid Afridi slams the OZ decision as he's been there, done that. After all, even with ICC backed big ticket cancellations in Pakistan, we deemed Pakistan a safe place for cricket, but sent our Salmas there instead of the Tigers. That's 'she power', powered by the fact that Australian Shaniera Thompson didn't cancel her marital vows with Wasim Akram despite the barrage of cricket match cancellations in Pakistan. 

The Aussies nevertheless have a valid concern. A concern perhaps similar to that of BCB officials about Australia being unsafe for the Tigers given the fatal Sydney shootings. 

Australia's guts seem to have waned over the years. Even after Captain Cook paves the way for the peaceful Down Under into becoming the British Empire's most favorite and the largest penal colony and the subsequent notorious genes getting passed on through generations, cricket matches, including World Cups, have been played there with Qantas like safety standards. That perhaps explains the OZ desire for best-in-class security.  

Meanwhile in Dhaka, several foreign missions announce travel advisories. With people getting knocked off like flies on a daily basis everywhere, the US steps up with ten being shot dead at a community college in Oregon.  All eyes are now on Washington DC – will the British, Canadian, Australian and especially Bangladeshi embassies there issue any travel advisories in the New World? 

None are issued. Rightfully so because the Oregon shooter enters the campus with five pistols, one rifle, five additional magazines, a full body armor (all legally purchased) covering a Caucasian body made in Britain but neither carrying a home-made clock nor bearing the name Ahmed. Perhaps there was a Tweet from the President of the National Rifle Association (NRA): “Cool getup Chris. Want to bring it to the NRA convention? We should inspire more kids like you to like guns!”

Chris Harper-Mercer had left a trail of evidence on social media of his fascination for the IRA and the Nazis. The reason the ticking time-bomb didn't get noticed – he used MySpace…

Donald Trump speaks up about the Oregon shooting incident: “These things happen.”

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, the top GOP contender, Donald 'W' Trump. If he does become the next US President, Americans will say about the elections, “These things happen.” That's ok, to the average US voter Donald Trump and Donald Duck are the same – both have made billions.

Circling back to Bangladesh. Now the South African women's cricket team cancels its trip to Bangladesh. BCB: “Cricket South Africa expressed its concern after the latest turn of events and wanted to know the security plan for its women's team. Unfortunately, we don't provide security plans for women's cricket, it's mainly for the men's teams.” 

Yes, it IS (that's not IS by the way) all about dollars and sense, as the Salmas don't attract as much endorsement dollars. Fair enough, but let's please not toot about having narrowed the gender gap…

The writer is an engineer at Ford & Qualcomm USA and CEO of IBM & Nokia Siemens Networks Bangladesh turned comedian (by choice), the host of NTV's The Naveed Mahbub Show and the founder of Naveed's Comedy Club. 

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