Nepal’s star cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane found guilty of raping minor

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Sandeep Lamichhane

Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal’s former national cricket team captain and the first Nepali player to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL), was convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl by a Kathmandu court on Friday.

The 23-year-old leg-spinner, who is also a popular figure in other T20 leagues around the world, was arrested in October last year after the girl filed a complaint against him at the Metropolitan Police Circle, Gaushala. She alleged that Sandeep Lamichhane raped her in a hotel room in Kathmandu in August.

The Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office filed a case against Lamichhane and sought compensation for the victim’s physical and mental trauma. The court also froze Lamichhane’s bank account and property after the charge sheet was filed.

Sandeep Lamichhane, who holds the record for the world’s second-fastest bowler to take 50 ODI wickets and the third-fastest to reach 50 T20I wickets, was initially sent to the Sundhara-based central jail in November following a detention hearing. He challenged the order in the Patan High Court, which granted him bail in January on a bond of Rs 2 million with conditions.

The final hearings of the case began on Sunday and concluded on Friday, when a single bench of Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal pronounced Lamichhane guilty of rape. The court will decide the jail term for the cricketer in the next hearing, the Kathmandu Post reported.

Lamichhane’s last international appearance was in August this year when he played against Kenya in a T20I match. He had returned from Trinidad & Tobago where he participated in the Caribbean Premier League before his arrest.

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