Ashton Agar looks set to play his first cricket Test in four years against Bangladesh on Sunday after coach Darren Lehmann suggested Australia would go with two spinners for the series opener in Mirpur.The 23-year-old left-arm finger spinner made his Test debut as a teenager in the 2013 Ashes series, starring more with bat than ball in two matches against England that remain his only experience of the longest form of the game.With Steven O’Keefe having been dropped despite a brilliant tour of India earlier this year, however, Agar is in the driving seat to get the nod ahead of uncapped leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson in a twin spin attack with Nathan Lyon.The tourists were robbed of their only practice match by the Dhaka rain on Monday, which Lehmann said made it even less likely he would radically overhaul his team from that which finished the tour of India in March.”We obviously haven’t played too much, so we’re fairly settled in where we want to go,” he told reporters in the Bangladesh capital.”That decision will be made later, once we start to have a look at the test wicket and the conditions. Most likely, I think we’ll play two spinners.”Agar toured India with Australia earlier this year but never got a chance to play as his fellow left-armer O’Keefe took 19 wickets at an average of 23.26, including 12 in the first test at Pune.O’Keefe, 32, was fined A$20,000 ($15,838) for “highly inappropriate behaviour” towards a female cricketer while drunk at an award ceremony in April, however, and was dumped for the Bangladesh tour in favour of the younger man.advertisement”Steven was excellent over there but we’ve decided to go with Ashton,” Lehmann said.”He’s got the all-round game and hopefully he’ll take it to the next level so if we wanted to play three quicks he could bat up the order, for example. He gives us a lot of flexibility in that way.”Young Swepson is a good prospect as a leg-spinner…it’s really tight between all the spinners but Ashton himself has batted really well, he’s a gun fielder and he’s got his length right with the ball.”The first Test starts on Sunday with the second in Chittagong scheduled from September 4-8.
It has been proposed that employers be given a two-month period to review their budgets before the agreed adjustment to the national minimum wage for this year takes effect.This recommendation comes from Chairman of the Minimum Wage Advisory Commission, Silvera Castro, who said employers would need adequate time to make their own adjustments to “assist the process”.Mr. Silvera was addressing the final in a series of islandwide consultations on the national minimum wage, at the North Street Offices of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in downtown Kingston on July 13.The Chairman said this is one of the recommendations that will be made in the Commission’s report, which is to be submitted to portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, by the end of August/early September.The Minister will then take the document to Cabinet for approval, after which it will be presented to the House of Representatives.In the meantime, representative for the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) on the Commission, Bernita Locke, said the Federation endorses full compliance with the national minimum wage for all eligible groups.“The JEF will continue to encourage its members to support any increase to the minimum wage once that is given,” she said.Mrs. Locke noted, however, that employers’ ability to pay the increase should also be taken into consideration.She further called on the Government, as did several other contributors, to re-establish the Joint Industrial Council for private security guards, which would comprise representatives of the Labour Ministry, trade unions and security companies.For his part, Manager, Human and Community Development Unit, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Steven Kerr, proposed a seven per cent increase in the national minimum wage.This would see minimum-wage earners receiving an additional sum of $434 per 40-hour workweek.Most of the suggested increases by other contributors ranged between seven and 10 per cent. Submissions were made by representatives of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU); the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees; Jamaica Household Workers Union; Jamaica Society for Industrial Security; the Bureau of Gender Affairs, and other interest groups.In 2016, the national minimum wage was increased from $5,600 per week to $6,200 for a 40-hour workweek.The minimum wage for industrial security guards was also increased from $204.97 per hour to $221.35 per hour for a 40-hour work week.The Minimum Wage Advisory Commission is comprised of representatives of the Government, trade unions and employers’ groups, and is mandated to review the rates annually.It conducts consultations in keeping with the Minimum Wage Act, and recommends minimum rates for groups of wage earners who do not have the bargaining power to negotiate for fair wages.The other consultations for this year were held in St. James, Manchester, Ocho Rios and Portland.