The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has been in the headlines for the past few days over controversy linked to its spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Lamichhane is currently out on bail but under police investigation for allegedly raping a minor. The CAN has reportedly allowed Lamichhane to practice ahead of the triangular series involving Namibia and Scotland despite being accused in a rape case of a minor. People took to the street on Saturday to protest against the induction of Lamichhane into the national team.
Demonstrators stood with placards near the administrative centre – Singha Durbar. The placards read, “CAN or CANNOT?”, “Are we safe?”, “Gentleman Game or Mentalman Game?.” Meanwhile, netizens have taken to social media to raise the issue with the hashtag ‘#BoycottCAN’. A user tagged Scotland and Namibian teams, calling them to boycott their series against Nepal. The individual wrote that the Nepal cricket team includes a rape accused named Sandeep Lamichhane.
Hello, Cricket Scotland @CSMOA_ and Cricket Namibia @CricketNamibia1 , could you please boycott the game with Nepal. Our team includes a rape accused player named Sandip Lamichhane . @CricketNep
— Ramesh Bhushal (@RameshBhushal) February 3, 2023
The Nepal Cricket Team is all set to host Scotland and Namibia for a triangular series starting February 14. The practice session for the series started on Thursday, February 2. The CAN shared its squad for the closed camp on Thursday which included Lamichhane, the country’s top player with experience of playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and several other T20 leagues around the world including in Australia. The CAN removed the ban on Lamichhane ahead of the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series matches.
Lamichhane is accused to have raped a minor on August 21 last year. Lamichhane put out several social media posts denying any wrongdoing after the accusations were made. However, he was arrested and taken into custody by the local police upon his arrival in Nepal on October 6. Lamichhane made a memorable international debut for Nepal at the age of 16 years old and is one of the biggest talents produced by the country. He has represented Nepal in 30 ODIs and 44 T20Is and has registered 69 and 85 wickets respectively in both formats.
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