Sandeep Lamichhane cleared of rape charges

Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal’s most prominent cricketer, has been cleared of rape charges. The 23-year-old, who is the only player from Nepal to participate in major T20 leagues worldwide, was previously convicted by a lower court for allegedly raping an 18-year-old woman.

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On Wednesday, an appeal court in Nepal overturned this conviction. Lamichhane, a leg-spinner who has represented Nepal in T20 leagues in India, Australia, Pakistan, and the West Indies, had been suspended as Nepal’s cricket captain and was arrested in 2022 following an assault accusation. He was released on bail after being sentenced to eight years in jail and ordered to pay approximately $3,770 in fines and compensation.

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Lamichhane’s legal team successfully appealed the decision, with the High Court in Patan ruling in his favor. Sabita Bhadari Baral, one of his lawyers, expressed relief, stating, “He had to be cleared, and the high court has set him free. He was not guilty.”

After the verdict, a jubilant Lamichhane was seen at the court premises, where his supporters celebrated with traditional music and drumbeats.