Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane Denied US Visa, Will Miss T20 World Cup 2024

Nepal’s celebrated legspinner, Sandeep Lamichhane, will miss the T20 World Cup 2024 after his US visa application was denied for the second time.

Despite efforts from the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) and government interventions, his application was rejected again, leading to his absence from the prestigious tournament.

Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane Denied US Visa, Will Miss T20 World Cup 2024
Since November 2023, Sandeep Lamichhane has not competed for Nepal • AFP/Getty Images

The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) and the Nepali government intervened on his behalf after his original application was denied last week, but he was denied again in spite of their efforts.

“Despite taking necessary initiatives, along with the diplomatic note, from the government of Nepal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Council, CAN and International Cricket Council (ICC) for cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane’s visit to participate in the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies, the US Embassy has expressed its inability to give travel permission (visa) to national player Lamichhane to play the World Cup,” CAN stated in a statement.

However, the board stated that it is still dedicated to assisting Lamichhane in obtaining a visa for upcoming trips to the US.

A representative of the US Embassy in Kathmandu stated last week, “The US Embassy in Kathmandu and other US consular posts around the world have made a concerted effort to ensure that members of national cricket teams who qualify for the appropriate visa class are able to travel in time to compete in the World Cup,” as reported by Kathmandu Post. “We cannot comment on individual visa cases as visa records are confidential under US law.”

Also Read: T20 World Cup Winners List from 2007 to 2023

One of the most well-known cricket players in Nepal, Lamichhane, was detained in October 2022 on suspicion of raping an 18-year-old lady. CAN immediately placed him on suspension. Following a trial in January 2024, he was found guilty; however, due to “a lack of evidence,” the Patan High Court overturned the conviction on appeal in May. He was given permission by CAN to start playing cricket again right away.

The USA and the West Indies will share co-hosting duties for this year’s T20 World Cup. On June 7 in Dallas, Texas, Nepal takes on the Netherlands in their opening Group D match. On June 11, they play their second match in Lauderhill, Florida, against Sri Lanka. After that, they travel to the Caribbean to play two matches against Sri Lanka and South Africa.

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