Duo applying for refugee visas November 16, 2007

Uganda call on Interpol to deport Ochan and Okello

Cricinfo staff

Jimmy Okello has been banned for life by the Ugandan Cricket Association © Cricinfo Ltd

The Ugandan government has instructed Interpol, the international police, to hunt down the two international players who defected to live in Adelaide. They want Jimmy Okello and Patrick Ochan deported after the pair fled the ICC World Cricket League final in Darwin in June.

However, the players, both 19, have defied the demand for the arrest, instead playing for West Torrens, their adopted club.

Uganda's Minister of State for Sports, Charles Bakabulindi, said it was "indiscipline of the highest order for sportsmen to disappear in countries where they are representing their nation. We cannot simply sit and watch as our sportsmen who go to developed countries simply disappear in those countries.

"We have to react because they damage the image of our country. We have requested Interpol to arrest them and deport them back."

Ochan said he wasn't aware of the developments, but that he wasn't too concerned as he was applying for refugee status. "I am not worried," he told the Sunday Mail newspaper. ."But I don't want to be sent back home. I want to stay and improve my cricket here."

He and Okello are both orphans and say it would be too hard to go back to Uganda. "There are a lot of wars, people fighting too much in the north - sometimes you survive, sometimes not. It's a hard life over there."

An Australian Federal Police spokesman said no request from international authorities had been received, and the pair are not, as yet, listed as wanted on the Interpol website.