Silence on Ugandan cricket Hamilton 'signings'

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 05:00 10/02/2014

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A Hamilton cricket club captain has been advised by lawyers not to comment on reports that two Ugandan overstayers are linked to his team.

Ugandan cricketers Faruk Ochimi and Raymond Otim went missing after competing in an ICC World Cup qualifier in Whakatane last month.

Their visas expired on February 7, but they did not leave the country with the rest of the team and have contacted Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

The two had reportedly joined the Marist-Suburbs team in Hamilton, 3 News reported.

Marist-Suburbs club captain Kevin Hamilton said the Ugandans' lawyers had asked him not to comment on the matter.

"Until we find out what's happening from them I just can't say anything," he said.

Hamilton Cricket general manager Rupert Hodgson said: "The talk is that they might be playing for the Marist team."

INZ acting fraud and compliance manager Natalie Gardiner said both men had a genuine purpose to apply for a visa and duly played for their team during the qualifying tournament.

"INZ encourages them to voluntarily leave the country as soon as possible to avoid facing deportation action."

They have 42 days to appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal and cannot be removed from the country during this period.

Various cricket websites listed Ochimi's date of birth as December 19, 1995. He was born in Naguru, Uganda, and is a right-hand batsman, right-arm medium pace bowler. Otim was born on October 21, 1986 at Kampala, Uganda. He is a right-hand batsman and legbreak spin bowler.

jonathan.carson@waikatotimes.co.nz

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