Sandeep Lamichhane denied US visa as Nepal spinner's T20 World Cup participation faces fresh blow | Crickit
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Sandeep Lamichhane denied US visa as Nepal spinner's T20 World Cup participation faces fresh blow

May 22, 2024 06:45 PM IST

Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichhane was acquitted of rape charges earlier this month.

Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has said that he has been denied a US visa, casting doubt on his participation in the upcoming T20 World Cup in June. Lamichhane, who was recently cleared of rape charges, was expected to be a key member of Nepal's squad as they prepare to compete in the ICC event.

Sandeep Lamichhane looks on outside Patan High Court in Lalitpur district of Kathmandu on May 15, 2024, after his acquittal by the court in a rape case.(AFP)
Sandeep Lamichhane looks on outside Patan High Court in Lalitpur district of Kathmandu on May 15, 2024, after his acquittal by the court in a rape case.(AFP)

His inclusion in the team was anticipated following his acquittal from the rape case, but the visa issue now threatens to sideline him from the prestigious tournament.

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He took to his official X, formerly Twitter, account to share the news. Interestingly, this is not the first time when he was denied a US visa.

“And the @USEmbassyNepal did it again what they did back in 2019, they denied my Visa for the T-20 World Cup happening in USA and West Indies. Unfortunate. I am sorry to all the well wishers of Nepal Cricket. @USAmbNepal @CricketNep,” wrote Lamichhane.

Lamichhane had faced suspension from both international and domestic cricket after initially being found guilty of rape charges. However, following a favourable verdict, he was reinstated and cleared to play.

The president of Cricket Nepal had expressed optimism about his inclusion, stating that arrangements were being made to ensure Lamichhane's participation in the T20 World Cup. Despite these efforts, visa denial presents a significant hurdle.

"He has been set free by the law, and we are happy for him. He was sentenced to jail by the lower courts, but today the high court set him free. We have removed the suspension as well, and we have time until the 25th to include him in the World Cup squad," Nepal board president Bahdur had said.

Nepal to begin campaign on June 4

The side will take on the Netherlands in its first match of the tournament on June 4. South Africa, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka complete their group, with the side playing its last group game on June 17.

This will be Nepal's second appearance at the T20 World Cup; in 2014, Nepal took part in the initial group stage, which was held for qualification to Super 10s; they finished second in the group with two wins in three matches.

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