Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane, denied US visa, will miss 2024 T20 World Cup

Sandeep Lamichhane has not played for Nepal since November 2023 AFP/Getty Images

Nepalese Sandeep Lamichhane will miss the T20 World Cup 2024 after his visa application for the United States was rejected a second time.

His initial application was refused last weekfollowing which the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) and the Nepal government intervened in his favor, but despite their efforts, his application was again refused.

“Despite the necessary initiatives, as well as the diplomatic note, from the Government of Nepal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the National Sports Council, the CAN and the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the visit of cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane to participate in the “For the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 in USA and West Indies, the US Embassy has expressed its inability to grant travel authorization (visa) to the player national team Lamichhane to play in the World Cup,” CAN said in a statement.

The board said it nevertheless remained committed to helping Lamichhane obtain a visa for future trips to the United States.

“The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu and other U.S. consular posts around the world have made concerted efforts to ensure that members of national cricket teams eligible for the appropriate visa class can travel in time to participate in the World Cup,” a spokesperson said. of the US Embassy in Kathmandu said last week, according to Kathmandu Post. “We cannot comment on individual visa cases because visa records are confidential under U.S. law.”

Lamichhane, one of Nepal's most prominent cricketers, was arrested in October 2022 after being accused of raping an 18-year-old woman. He was immediately suspended by the CAN. After a trial in January 2024, he was guilty only to be acquitted on appeal by the Patan High Court in May, due to “lack of evidence”. The CAN allowed him to return to cricket with immediate effect.

The T20 World Cup this year will be co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies. Nepal will play their first match in Group D against the Netherlands on June 7 in Dallas, Texas. Their second match will be against Sri Lanka at Lauderhill, Florida on June 11. They will then travel to the Caribbean to play two matches against South Africa and Sri Lanka.

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