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Sandeep Lamichhane acquitted of rape by Nepal court ahead of T20 World Cup

Sandeep Lamichhane acquitted of rape
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former Nepal captain Sandeep Lamichhane has been acquitted of rape by the Patan high court, months after a Kathmandu district court sentenced him to eight years in prison.

The Kathmandu district court had found Lamichhane guilty of rape of an unnamed victim in December 2023, more than a year after the complaint was first filed. However, Lamichhane challenged the district court’s verdict. The high court proceedings started yesterday (May 14), while the ruling came out today (May 15), overturning the decision of the district court citing a lack of evidence according to the spokesperson of the Patan high court.

“He had to be cleared and the high court has set him free. He was not guilty,” said Sabita Bhadari Baral, a lawyer for the player, when speaking to Reuters after the verdict.

Lamichhane was arrested at an airport in October 2022, but was given bail in January 2023 for two million rupees. He was, however, barred from travelling abroad with other restrictions placed on his movement as well. To challenge the restrictions, Lamichhane moved the Supreme Court which ruled in his favour a month later, allowing him to travel abroad and play cricket.

Lamichhane could play T20 World Cup

Lamichhane played several international games for Nepal while out on bail during 2023, including the 2023 World Cup Qualifier and the 2023 Asia Cup.

Now, with the Patan High Court’s ruling which has acquitted him of rape, Lamichhane is once again expected to be back for Nepal at another global event, the 2024 T20 World Cup.

He wasn’t named in the provisional squad for the T20 World Cup, led by Rohit Paudel, but they have till May 25 to make amendments according to ICC’s rules for the tournament.

Lamichhane, 23 years of age, is the highest wicket-taker for Nepal in both ODIs (112) and T20Is (98).

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