Cricket Association of Nepal suspends former captain Sandeep Lamichhane


On Wednesday, January 10, Kathmandu District Court sentenced Sandeep Lamichhane to eight years in prison for rape. Things keep going from bad to worse for the wrist spinner as he has now been suspended by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN).

With this suspension, the former Nepal captain will not be able to play for the national team and also in the domestic circuit.

Chatur Bahadur Chand, chairman of CAN, gave a statement to explain Lamichhane’s suspension. The 23-year-old has played 51 ODIs and 52 T20Is for Nepal and picked up 112 and 98 wickets, respectively.

A single bench of judge Shishir Raj Dhakal, which had convicted Lamichhane on December 29, pronounced the jail term and fine of half a million rupees for raping a girl in 2022 after further hearing on Wednesday. Half a million rupees, of which Rs 300,000 is fine and the remaining compensation, would be paid to the victim.

Lamichhane has been convicted under Section 219, which brings about a jail term ranging between seven and 10 years. The cricketer’s lawyers asked for a minimum punishment for his client, requesting the court to consider his contributions to the nation. However, the victim’s lawyers demanded the jail term to be increased by 50% as Lamichhane had misused his celebrity status.

The Syangja-born’s lawyers have stated that they are going to challenge the district court’s verdict in the high court. Lamichhane might be convicted but he can continue fighting the legal battle without being held in prison.

For the unversed, Lamichhane was suspended by Nepal’s cricket governing body in September 2022, after Kathmandu District Court issued an arrest warrant on a rape charge. After being released on bail in January 2023, the ban on the diminutive cricketer was lifted before he joined the national team once again.

Nepal participated in the Asia Cup for the first time last year and showed a lot of promise. Later this year, they are going to make their first T20 World Cup appearance since 2014. The sport in the country is developing at an impressive rate and the support from the fans has been massive.