Sandeep Lamichhane Likely To Miss T20 World Cup 2024

Sandeep Lamichhane likely to miss T20 World Cup 2024 with Visa Denied by US Embassy.

Nepal Cricket star spinner Sandeep Lamichhane may miss out on the chance to play in the T20 World Cup 2024 as the US Visa stands denied to him. The star spinner was cleared of the charges of rape recently. He was all set to join the squad for the historic ICC event marking Nepal’s first appearance.

The deadline for the boards to provide the ICC with their final squad was May 25. 

Lamichhane had picked up nine wickets in the T20 World Cup Asia Qualifiers last year, most for Nepal, and that sealed their spot for the World Cup. 

Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) said on Sunday they had yet to give up hope on including controversial star Sandeep Lamichhane in their T20 World Cup 2024 squad, despite the spin bowler being denied a US visa and the deadline for final squads ending.

Sandeep Lamichhane acquitted of Rape Charges

On May 15, the Patan High Court overruled the Kathmandu District Court’s decision and acquitted Nepal cricket star Sandeep Lamichhane in the case of rape. After the decision, CAN lifted his ban on the same day.

“He is now a free citizen. We have withdrawn the ban too. We have till the 25th to include him in the World Cup squad,” said Nepal Cricket Board president Bahdur.

Sandeep Lamichhane is Nepal’s most high-profile cricketer. He is also the first cricketer from the Himalayan nation to ever play in the Indian Premier League, making his debut for the Delhi Capitals franchise in 2018. 

He was arrested in October 2022 after a 17-year-old girl accused him of raping her in a hotel room in Kathmandu in August of that year.

A single bench of Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal passed the order in December after final hearings were done. The court convicted him of rape. Lamichhne was out on bail when convicted. Patan High Court ordered the release of the cricketer on a bail bond of Rs 2 million with conditions on January 12.

The Kathmandu District Court sent Lamichhane to the Sundhara-based central jail in November 2022 after a jail hearing. The cricketer had challenged the order in the high court. He was arrested on October 6 at Tribhuvan International Airport while returning from Trinidad & Tobago where he played in the Caribbean Premier League.

The district judge, through the chargesheet, wanted compensation from Lamichhane for the victim’s alleged physical and mental torture. Soon after the charge sheet filing, Lamichhane’s bank account and property were frozen.

Fans protest outside Nepal PM residence & US Embassy after Lamichhane Visa Denial

Kathmandu saw protests over a visa denial to Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Youths in Nepal’s capital city hit the streets to demand a visa for the cricketer so that he could take part in the T20 World Cup 2024.

As per cricnepal.com, people flocked to the Prime Minister’s building in Baluwatar. The protests were also held in front of the US embassy to put pressure on the authorities for visa issuance.

Against the cheery backdrop, Lamichhane got the bad news. He took to X on Wednesday to disclose the refusal by the US Embassy to grant him a visa for the T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and the West Indies. This was a denial that repeated a similar scene in 2019 when he could not get a visa for the Caribbean Premier League.

Expressing his shock, Sandeep Lamichhane posted., “And the @USEmbassyNepal did it again what they did back in 2019. They refused me a visa to travel to the T-20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies. Unfortunate. I am sorry to all the fans of Nepal Cricket.”

The leg-spinner was at the forefront of Nepal’s entry into the T20 World Cup. He picked nine wickets in the T20 World Cup 2024 Asia Qualifiers. Sandeep also ended up as Nepal Cricket’s leading wicket-taker in the World Cup. He delivered in the crucial semifinal match against the UAE with a great spell of 4-1-14-2.

Bangladesh Cricket Team Review | T20 World Cup 2024

Nepal Cricket Team arrive in the United States

The Nepal cricket team has already reached the US and started preparation for the T20 World Cup 2024. They played a warm-up fixture against Canada on May 27 and lost 63 runs. They will now take on hosts USA in a second practice game on May 30. Then Nepal will lock horns with the Netherlands in their opening game.

Nepal is in Group D with South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands at the T20 World Cup. Nepal will play its first two group matches in the United States and two more in the West Indies.

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