Nepal former captain's rape conviction overturned - to be considered for T20 World Cup

Thursday, 16 May 2024 - 13:00

Sandeep Lamichhane has been acquitted of rape by the Patan High Court in Nepal, allowing him to resume playing cricket with immediate effect, including, possibly, at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Soon after the court's verdict, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Lamichhane would be considered for Nepal's T20 World Cup squad subject to clearance from the ICC. The ICC has given all 20 participating teams until May 25 to submit their final 15-man squads for the World Cup, which will be played in the West Indies and the USA between June 1 and 29.

"Since the high court has cleared Sandeep Lamichhane from all the allegations, he is now cleared to play all forms of cricket," a CAN spokesperson said.

Nepal's provisional squad is already in the Caribbean and has been training in St Vincent. They will travel to the USA closer to the start of the tournament - their first match in the main event is on June 4 against Netherlands in Dallas.

Tirtharaj Bhattarai, spokesperson for the Patan High Court, told the Kathmandu Post that Lamchhane had been cleared because of "a lack of evidence".

A single-judge bench of the Kathmandu court had found Lamichhane guilty of raping an 18-year-old woman, and the sentence was announced on January 10.

The bench had also fined Lamichhane approximately US$2255 and ordered him to pay approximately US$1500 in compensation to the victim. On January 11, following the verdict, Lamichhane was suspended by CAN.

Earlier this month, Lamichhane had lodged an appeal against his prison sentence, and was granted permission to stay out of jail while the legal proceedings were ongoing.

Leg-spinner Lamichhane had been the face of cricket in Nepal, and had played in Australia's Big Bash and the Indian Premier League before his arrest.

He was suspended as Nepal captain in September 2022 following the rape accusations.

Lamichhane made a controversial return to the Nepal side in February 2023 following his release on bail for their matches against Scotland and Namibia.

His return was met with protests, and players from both opposition nations refused to shake his hand.

Sri Lanka women beat West Indies women with 15 overs to spare
Saturday, 15 June 2024 - 18:11

Sri Lanka Women 198 for 4 (Samarawickrama 44*, Hasini 43, Gunaratne 40, Athapaththu 38, Alleyne 2-22, Fletcher 2-31) beat West Indies Women 195 (Matthews... Read More

Kate, Princess of Wales, makes first public appearance since cancer diagnosis
Saturday, 15 June 2024 - 18:03

Kate, Britain's Princess of Wales, made her first public appearance on Saturday since surgery five months ago revealed the presence of cancer, attending... Read More

Matija Sarkic, Millwall and Montenegro goalkeeper, dies aged 26
Saturday, 15 June 2024 - 18:12

The Millwall and Montenegro goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has died at the age of 26, the club have announced. It has been reported that Sarkic fell ill at an... Read More