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Sandeep Lamichhane acquitted of rape conviction ahead of T20 World Cup 2024

Sandeep Lamichhane was cleared of rape charges by Nepal's Patan High Court on Wednesday and the Cricket Association of Nepal is reportedly considering recalling their former captain for the ICC T20 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: May 15, 2024 21:39 IST
Sandeep Lamichhane
Image Source : SANDEEP LAMICHHANE/X Sandeep Lamichhane during the T20I game against Oman in November 2023

Nepal's former national cricket team captain Sandeep Lamichhane was acquitted of rape charges by Patan High Court on Wednesday, May 15. The star cricketer was facing an eight-year imprisonment for a rape conviction on January 10, 2024, but was out on provisional release after his appeal to Nepal's highest court.

The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) is reportedly considering the spin all-rounder for the ICC T20 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies on June 1, 2024. Lamichhane remains the nation's most successful cricketer with 210 wickets in just 102 white-ball international matches.

Lamichhane, 23, had been found guilty of raping a 17-year-old woman by the Kathmandu court and was sentenced to imprisonment in January. He appealed against the court's verdict earlier this month and Patan High Court released the cricketer due to 'a lack of evidence'. 

In their official statement, the CAN spokesperson confirmed that Lamichhane has been cleared to play all forms of cricket. According to a report from ESPNcricinfo, the board is waiting for the ICC's clearance to include their star cricketer in their final 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2024. 

"Since the high court has cleared Sandeep Lamichhane from all the allegations, he is now cleared to play all forms of cricket," Cricket Association of Nepal's press release said.

All teams can submit their final squad until May 25 and Nepal's provisional squad has already started their preparation in St Vincent. Nepal are slotted in Group D with South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Netherlands and kick off their campaign against the Dutch side at Texas' Grand Prairie Stadium on June 4. 

In-form batting all-rounder Rohit Paudel is leading Nepal in the mega tournament and is expected to keep the captain's armband even if Lamichhane gets a nod to feature in the World Cup. 

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