Our snoops can confirm that leg-spinner Raymond Otim and youngster Faruk Ochimi two of Uganda’s national team the Cricket Cranes actually vanished after the ICC World Cup Qualifier event in New Zealand.
The duo disappeared in New Zealand and all-round batsman Richard Okia was left in Dubai – having missed the flight.
Word going around reveals that the two players sought asylum in Whakatane where the national team was hosted for two warm-up matches during a 10-day acclimatisation tour.
Uganda was relegated as a consequence of what is easily the country’s most humiliating showing at an ICC tournament, with six heavy defeats in six matches at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand.
It will take another three years before Uganda get another crack at promotion from the backwaters of Division 3 provided.
In 2009, seven of the Under-19 Uganda side at the World Cup Qualifier in Toronto Ahmed Yakub, who is the captain, Emmanuel Nakaana, Geoffrey Nyero, Moses Okwera, Andrew Ochan and Ahmad Sangau – jumped ship and never returned home.
The 2014 revelation will draw parallels with to another situation two years ago when two members of the Uganda side which had been competing in the World Cricket League in Australia absconded and subsequently claimed asylum.
If it does turn out the two Uganda players have disappeared with the aim of avoiding returning home, they will have dealt a major blow to the dream of many young local cricketers to play abroad. Their actions can only increase the difficulties facing players from Associate and Affiliate countries in obtaining the necessary visas to enable them to participate in ICC events.