Sandeep Lamichhane
Sandeep Lamichhane Credits: Twitter

A Kathmandu court sentenced Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane to eight years in prison after he was convicted of rape. The 23-year-old was found guilty of raping an 18-year-old lady by a single-judge bench of the Kathmandu District Court last month, and he received his punishment on January 10.

In September 2022, the victim filed a lawsuit against Lamicchane, accusing him of rape in August 2021. After months of trial and investigation, Lamicchane was convicted of the crime on December 29, 2023. The level of penalty was then determined to be announced on January 10, 2024. In addition to the penalty, the former Nepal International was fined Rs.3 lakh and ordered to pay Rs.2 lakh in compensation to the victim.

Sandeep Lamicchane was playing in the Caribbean Premier League with the Jamaica Tallawahs, the team terminated him immediately after he returned to Kathmandu and was detained.

Despite the claims, Lamichhane continued to play cricket, competing in events for his country while on bail. His most recent outing for Nepal came against Oman in the T20 Asia Finals in November. However, the court’s verdict has put an end to his cricket career, since he risks a lengthy prison sentence.

The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) suspended Lamichhane on January 11, following the verdict

Sandeep Lamichhane Credits: Twitter
Sandeep Lamichhane Credits: Twitter

“We inform you that Sandeep Lamichhane has been suspended from any kind of domestic and international cricket activities as he has been convicted and sentenced,” it maintained.

The former Nepal captain was suspended by CAN in early September 2022 after an arrest warrant was filed in Kathmandu for the case. It came after reports that a complaint had been filed against Lamichhane at a Kathmandu police station.

Although he was considered for Nepal during the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series at home in February, he was discarded for the World Cup League 2 tri-series in Dubai later that year, only to return as an injury substitute.

The news of Lamichhane’s detention has undoubtedly sent shockwaves across the cricket community. The 23-year-old made significant contributions to Nepal cricket, taking the most wickets in ODIs and T20Is. He also gained international recognition by playing in major leagues such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) with the Delhi Capitals and the Big Bash League.

Lamichhane has since represented Nepal in the ODI World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe in June and July, as well as the Asia Cup in August-September. He has more than 100 wickets in 100 white-ball matches for Nepal.