Sandeep Lamichhane to join Nepal's T20 World Cup squad in West Indies

Nepal had initially intended to pick former captain but his US visa was rejected twice

By Web Desk
June 10, 2024
Sandeep Lamichhane bowls during a training session. — CAN

Sandeep Lamichhane will join Nepal's T20 World Cup squad in the West Indies after missing matches in the United States due to his visa being denied, Cricket Association Nepal (CAN)announced on Monday.

Nepal had initially intended to pick former captain Lamichhane, whose eight-year rape conviction had been overturned on appeal, but his USA visa was rejected twice.

The T20 World Cup is being co-hosted by the USA and West Indies.

"Nepali player Sandeep Lamichhane will leave for the West Indies for the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup and join the Nepali national cricket team," association secretary Paras Khadka said in a statement.

The 23-year-old was previously heralded as the face of cricket in Nepal. However, he was found guilty of raping a young woman in a hotel in Kathmandu in 2022. That conviction was overturned last month.

"I am now joining the national team for the last two matches in the West Indies and looking forward to fulfilling my dreams and the dream of all cricket lovers," Lamichhane posted on X, formerly Twitter.

"To all our cricket fans and people back home everywhere who prayed for me, I will forever be grateful for your blessings."

It must be noted Nepal lost to the Netherlands by six wickets in their World Cup opener.

They play Sri Lanka on Wednesday in Florida, before group matches in the West Indies against South Africa and Bangladesh.

Before his trial for rape, lamichhane's proficiency as a leg-spinner significantly enhanced the sport's visibility in Nepal

In 2022, when an arrest warrant was initially issued, Lamichhane failed to return promptly from Jamaica, where he was participating in the Caribbean Premier League.

He was relieved of his duties as national captain and apprehended, but Nepal lifted his playing prohibition upon his release on bail.

This enabled him to continue participating, including at the Asia Cup in Pakistan and Sri Lanka last year, until his conviction in January. The conviction was overturned in mid-May.