Sandeep Lamichhane, the captain of Nepal’s cricket team, on Friday refuted claims that he had allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl and said he would return home to defend himself. The 22-year-old, who participates in the Caribbean Premier League, has a warrant for his arrest from a Nepali court, and he has been demoted from his position of authority.
This week, the adolescent girl and her parent filed a complaint against the footballer, claiming that he had sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in Kathmandu the month before after they had met and gone out.
In a statement on his Twitter account, Lamichhane wrote: “I am INNOCENT & keep complete belief in the respectable laws of Nepal. I am ready to face all these baseless allegations. May justice be served to the innocent & right investigation to be done towards everyone involved. Hope the law acts equal to everyone.”
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The claims against him follow this week’s conviction of well-known Nepali actor Paul Shah for having sex with a juvenile. He was given a two and a half year prison term and told to compensate his victim.
Lamichhane is a popular Nepali cricketer
Lamichhane is presently competing with the Jamaica Tallawahs in the West Indies-based Caribbean Premier League. Lamichhane is the face of Nepal’s burgeoning one-day international cricket league, which was granted recognition in 2018 but is still a long way from competing in a World Cup.
The leg-big spinner’s break came in 2018 when the Delhi Capitals signed him for the valuable Indian Premier League. Since then, he has become the most in-demand Nepali cricketer in international T20 tournaments.