July 20, 2024
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Sports

Sandeep Lamichhane Rape Conviction Overturned on Appeal

Lamichhane

Nepalese cricket star Sandeep Lamichhane’s rape conviction was quashed on appeal, overturning an eight-year jail sentence for sexual assault that was handed down in January. The Patan High Court acquitted Lamichhane, according to a spokesman for the court, Bimal Parajuli, who confirmed the decision to AFP news agency on Wednesday. He had been convicted of raping an 18-year-old woman in a Kathmandu hotel in 2022.

Following his acquittal, several Nepalese and Indian news outlets reported that Lamichhane might be included in Nepal’s squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Nepal announced its provisional squad for the tournament earlier this month, and changes can be made until the International Cricket Council’s deadline on May 25.

Lamichhane, 23, has been a prominent figure in Nepalese cricket, becoming the only player from Nepal to participate in major Twenty20 leagues in India, Australia, Pakistan, and the West Indies. His success on the field has significantly boosted the sport’s profile in Nepal. However, his career faced a major setback in 2022 when he was accused of raping a young woman in Kathmandu. Following the accusation, police issued an arrest warrant, and Lamichhane was taken into custody but later released on bail. Despite the charges, he continued to compete in international tournaments.

Lamichhane was found guilty of rape in December after a trial that had faced several delays. At the time the arrest warrant was issued, Lamichhane did not immediately return from Jamaica, where he was playing in the Caribbean Premier League. This delay contributed to his controversial profile in both national and international cricket.

Despite being suspended as Nepal’s captain, he was allowed to continue playing, including participating in the World Cup qualifiers and the 2023 Asia Cup. His return to the field in February last year was met with mixed reactions; hundreds of cheering fans welcomed him back, while his ongoing participation in cricket has also sparked significant anger and led many Nepalese to disavow the national team.

Additionally, during an international tournament in Dubai, Scotland’s cricketers demonstrated their disapproval by refusing to shake hands with Lamichhane after their matches. This incident highlighted the broader controversy surrounding his continued presence in the sport despite the serious allegations and subsequent conviction, now overturned, against him.

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