February 8, 2008


Uganda forgives absconding players

Martin Williamson

The Ugandan government has forgiven the two cricketers who vanished in Australia when they went there to play cricket last year.

Jimmy Okello and Patrick Ochan went AWOL after the ICC World Cricket League last June and surfaced claiming political asylum because of persecution. They were subsequently banned for life by Uganda.

James Nsaba Buturo, the minister of ethics and integrity, said they were forgiven because it had been realised persecuting them would make them suffer. "We are no longer interested in them being arrested by Interpol to be brought back. They can stay in Australia if they so wish."


Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by Ravi kumar on (February 12, 2008, 17:13 GMT)

I dont think players no matter what sport should do this dirty thing of seeking asylum in countries where they want to settle somehow in the near future. In cricket England and Australia are the only two countries which are likely to have more asylum seekers from the African nations sans South Africa. It would be boring in this competitive sport if players use cricket tournaments as seeking refuge in a country they get to actually play. How frustrating it would be if in future all players of a particular club or country seek refuge to live in that particular country instead of applying through regular sources to settle in that country. There are rules and regulations set up for each nation. In case they are so wanting to settle let them go in a more naive or authentic manner so that it looks good. Doing such nasty things in sports is not good. It would be unwise for players who want to be professionals in future to actually repeat such acts of inhumane nature. Why live then?

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Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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