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Othieno dispels rumours of player escape

By: DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

KAMPALA: Considering the amount of work put in prior, assistant coach Henry Okecho was left more than disillusioned after Team Uganda finished bottom at the ICC World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand.

“It has been a very tough time for us here and so disappointing owing to the efforts put in by the coach Johan Rudolph and the potential of the group of players,” tactician Okecho told this paper on phone yesterday.

A 160-run defeat to Nepal in ninth-place play-off having confirmed Uganda’s bizarre status on Tuesday, the contingent went out fishing and relaxing yesterday at the Pacific’s North Island. They were due to depart for Kampala this morning .

But there have been rumours that several unidentified players would escape from camp, more so with the team having been relegated back to the ICC Division III tier.

“Hopefully it is but just a rumour,” team manager Andrew Othieno said from the team base at the Trinity Whalf Hotel in Tauranga.

“Of course, we can’t sleep in front of their (players) room doors but I am holding all their passports until we arrive at the airport,” he said.

By last evening, Okecho had confirmed everyone was still in camp. “All the 15 players are still in camp.” The team arrives here on tomorrow afternoon, 30 days since they left for the 2015 ODI World Cup mission.

Should a player fail to return under unclear circumstances, the image of local body Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) could be tainted as it was when seven players on the U-19 national side disappeared on September 13, 2009 after an unsuccessful World Cup qualification campaign in Canada.

Already, UCA is in dismay having missed out a lucrative ICC High Performance Program funding of $1m (Shs2.475b) which could have improved their sport’s standards until 2017.

UGANDA’s RESULTS

Uganda 152/10 Netherlands 155/3

(Netherlands won by seven wickets)

Uganda 105/10 PNG 107/1

(P.N.G. won by nine wickets)

Kenya 253/5 Uganda 206/8

(Kenya won by 47 runs)

Namibia 161/9 Uganda 61/10

(Namibia won by 100 runs)

Uganda 149/10 Canada 119/1

(Canada won by 59 runs after D/L)

Nepal 240/10 Uganda 80/10

(Nepal won by 160 runs)

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