Former Nepal captain Sandeep Lamichhane convicted of raping minor; cricket career hangs in the balance
Nepal's former national cricket team captain Sandeep Lamichhane was on Friday convicted by a court in Kathmandu for the rape of a minor.
On Friday, a court in Kathmandu convicted Sandeep Lamichhane, the former captain of Nepal's national cricket team, for the rape of a minor. In January of this year, Lamichhane was arrested based on accusations from a 17-year-old girl who claimed that the cricketer assaulted her in a hotel room in Kathmandu. Despite being released by the court earlier, the 23-year-old Lamichhane, Nepal's most prominent cricketer and the first player from the country to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL), now faces legal consequences for the charges.
Sandeep Lamichhane made his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with the Delhi Capitals franchise in 2018. On Friday, Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal, presiding over a single bench, issued the verdict after concluding the final hearings that began the previous Sunday, as reported by the Kathmandu Post.
The Kathmandu District Court convicted Lamichhane of rape, and the upcoming hearing will determine the jail term for the senior member of the national team. Currently out on bail, Lamichhane was released on January 12 following the order of the Patan High Court. In response to Lamichhane's review petition, a joint bench of judges Dhruva Raj Nanda and Ramesh Dahal directed his release on a bail bond of Rs 2 million under specific conditions.
On November 4, 2022, the Kathmandu District Court issued an order to transfer Sandeep Lamichhane to the central jail located in Sundhara after a detention hearing. In response to this decision, Lamichhane appealed to the high court.
The Kathmandu District Attorney's Office filed a case against Lamichhane, accusing him of raping a girl on August 21. The minor filed a case against the cricketer on September 6 at the Metropolitan Police Circle in Gaushala. Lamichhane was subsequently arrested on October 6 at Tribhuvan International Airport upon his return from Trinidad & Tobago, where he had participated in the Caribbean Premier League.
In the chargesheet, the district attorney sought compensation from Lamichhane for the purported physical and mental distress inflicted upon the victim. Following the filing of the chargesheet, Lamichhane's bank account and property were subjected to freezing.
Known for his crafty leg-spin and a formidable googly, Lamichhane was highly sought after in prominent T20 leagues globally, such as the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia, the Pakistan Super League (PSL), and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The exceptionally talented cricketer boasts the distinction of being the world's second-fastest bowler to reach 50 ODI wickets and the third-fastest to achieve the milestone of 50 T20I wickets. Lamichhane's most recent international outing took place in August of this year when he participated in a T20I match against Kenya.