Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane cleared of rape charges

Nepal star cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane

Nepal star cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane 


The 23-year-old was arrested in 2022 after a complaint of raping an 18-year-old woman was registered against him

Nepal’s premier player, Sandeep Lamichhane, has been cleared of any wrongdoing and rape charges by an appeal court in Nepal.

The 23-year-old was arrested in 2022 after a complaint of raping an 18-year-old woman was registered against him. A lower court heard the arguments and convicted him for the crime.

The country’s high-profile leg spinner, who was the captain of the Nepal cricket team, was taken into custody in 2022 and was released on bail and later, a Kathmandu district court sentenced him to eight years in prison in January this year. Lamichhane was also fined $3,770 and was asked to pay compensation to the victim. He was also suspended from all forms of cricket post the arrest.

Lamichhane was playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for the Jamaica Tallawahs when the court initially found him guilty and ordered an arrest. The franchise released him immediately and the player was arrested as soon as he returned to Kathmandu.

The spinner appealed the verdict and an appeal court cleared him of all charges on Wednesday.

His lawyer, Sabita Bhadari, welcomed the decision and said the player was never guilty of any wrongdoing. “He had to be cleared and the high court has set him free. He was not guilty,” the lawyer told news agencies after the verdict.

The spinner came to the court along with his supporters and celebrated the decision.

The entire details of the court’s order is yet to be released.

Sandeep Lamichhane is the only cricketer from Nepal to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also in T20 leagues in Australia, the West Indies and Pakistan. He made history when he became the first Nepal player to play in the IPL when he was bought by Delhi Daredevils for INR 20 lakh. He was also later a part of the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala team.

Lamichhane has played nine IPL matches in total (3 matches in 2018 and 6 matches in 2019) and has taken a total of 13 wickets in the Indian league.

Sandeep Lamichhane will now be available for selection for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled to commence in the USA and the West Indies on June 1. Although the Nepal Cricket Board has named the team, teams are allowed to change their squad until May 25.

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