Kathmandu [Nepal]February 10 (ANI): Widespread protests aside, the Nepal Cricket Association (CAN) has included rape allegations and under-investigated star cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane in its squad for the triangle series scheduled for next week.
The final 14-man squad for the ICC World Cup League 2 triangle series was announced, Lamichhane is being investigated for the rape of a minor while his bail is being challenged in the Supreme Court.
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The Triangle Series will be held at the TU Cricket Stadium in Kirtipur from February 14-21, with Nepal taking on Namibia and Scotland.
Lamichhane’s entry into training camp sparked protests after CAN dropped the disciplinary action last month. Some activists and cricket supporters took to the streets to protest the decision.
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Supporters continued to protest the decision on social media as the final roster was announced Thursday night.
“@CricketNep has cast a disgrace and shadow on the sport. You have betrayed the trust of your fans by protecting an alleged rapist. I see a complete lack of integrity and respect for survivors,” one social media user tweeted explain.
“Nepal Cricket Association has a special hatred for women in this country. What a shameful organisation!” another tweeted.
Another wrote, “This is not #nepalsquad – this is a bunch of idiots promoting #sexual #misconduct! Go back to #Namibia #Scotland”
As the issue came up, Scottish cricket and Namibia issued press releases about the match earlier this week, saying, “Ahead of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup League 2, Scottish cricket is aware of the situation in Sandeep, Nepal. Reported qualifier on Lamichhane’s legal status.
As a governing body and as a team, Scottish Cricket stands firmly against all forms of abuse which have no place in modern society. “
It further said, “A player’s ability to participate in these matches is a matter for the consideration of the Nepal Cricket Association and the ICC.”
The visiting Namibian team also issued a statement saying, “The Namibian cricket team strongly opposes all forms of gender-based violence, discrimination and abuse.”
The star cricketer, who led Nepal to cricket’s various international fronts and captained the national team at the age of 19, is out on bail accused of raping a minor. Despite rising discontent over the lawsuit, newly appointed head coach Monty Desai enlisted him.
While out on bail, the star cricketer’s provisional release has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
Lamichhane was accused of raping a 17-year-old minor and was released on bail by the Patan High Court on January 13 this year on the 99th day. On 3 February, the Attorney-General’s Office filed a petition with the Supreme Court re-challenging his bail.
He is being investigated under section 219 of the Penal Code 2074. If convicted of the crime against him, he will be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison.
The executive committee meeting of the Nepal Cricket Association decided to lift the January 31 ban imposed on Ramikhane on September 8 last year and roll call in the 20-man closed camp on February 2.
All-rounder Aarif Sheikh was left out of the 20-man squad, while left-arm orthodox Surya Tamang was named to the final squad for the first time. Kamal Singh Airee, Kishor Mahato, Pratish GC, Arjun Saud and Mausam Dhakal are the other players excluded from the 14-man squad.
Sheikh, GC, Dhakal and Saud named as four retained players
Rohit Paudel (captain), Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh, Gyanendra Malla, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Laimchhane, Lalit Rajbanshi, Dipendra Singh Airee, Sundeep Jora, Gulshan Jha, Bhim Sharki and Surya Tamang are the players announced in the final list. for the triangle series. (Arnie)
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