Cricket

Missing players Ochimi, Otim join New Zealand cricket side

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Ochimi bowls during an U-19 trial match last year.

Ochimi bowls during an U-19 trial match last year. The youngster, together with Raymond Otim have reportedly joined Marist-Suburbs cricket team in Hamilton, New Zealand. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO.  

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Posted  Friday, February 14  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Uganda Cricket Association contacted authorities in New Zealand about the fate of the two players who vanished after Team Uganda’s woeful performance in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers.

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KAMPALA- Ever since the national team returned from the awful ICC World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand last month, there has been a bulging silence over the two players Raymond Otim and Faruk Ochimi, who disappeared in the Bay of Plenty.

But latest reports indicate the pair joined a cricket club in Hamilton, according to news website 3News.co.nz.

“3News visited Galloway Park in Hamilton, where the cricketers (Ochimi and Otim) were due to play with the local side this morning,” read part of the published online story dated February 8.
Adding: “The two Ugandan cricket players, Faruk Ochimi and Raymond Otim, were set to join the Marist-Suburbs cricket team in Hamilton today (Monday).”

Interestingly, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) officials were caught unaware on the proceedings of the pair.

“I haven’t heard about this yet,” UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi told Daily Monitor on Tuesday.
Four days back, Ligyalingi had assured this paper that UCA was in touch with the authorities in New Zealand about the missing players.

“We wrote a letter via email to the respective authorities in New Zealand this morning and we are now waiting for official communication,” Ligyalingi said on Monday.
Team manager Andrew Othieno, who had earlier told this paper on return, that they (UCA) would only worry about the two players after the expiry of their visas on February 7, could not be reached on phone to comment about on the matter.

The players’ visas expired on Friday and Immigration New Zealand says Ochimi and Otim now have 35 days to depart voluntarily or appeal, otherwise they face deportation.

Meanwhile, the story on 3News further read that Marist-Suburbs team coach was aware of the players’ situation and was waiting to hear from their lawyer.

On contacting their lawyer, believed to be looking after the pair, it was told the cricketers had been advised not to speak to media while the legal process is ongoing.

PLAYER PROFILES

Full name: Faruk Ochimi
Nickname: Chimzy
Born: Dec. 19, 1995
Major teams: Uganda, Nile Knights, U-19s
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Full name: Raymond Otim
Nickname: Bresnan
Born: October 21, 1986
Major teams: Uganda Under-19s
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Bowling style: Legbreak

dkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com