In a shocking judgement, Nepali cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane has been sentenced to eight years in prison following his conviction in a rape case. The Kathmandu District Court found Lamichhane guilty of raping a 17-year-old girl at a hotel in Kathmandu in August 2022.
This verdict comes after a series of legal proceedings, with Lamichhane initially released on bail in January 2023. However, the court demanded a fast-tracking of the case, leading to the recent conviction.
Despite facing serious allegations, Lamichhane continued to play cricket and participated in tournaments for Nepal while on bail. His last appearance for the national team was against Oman in the T20Is Asia Finals in November. However, the court’s decision has now put an abrupt end to his cricket career, as he faces a substantial jail sentence.
Lamichhane’s legal troubles began with his arrest in October 2022 following accusations by a minor. Although released on bail in January 2023, the final hearings, led by Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal, resulted in a guilty verdict.
The Kathmandu District Government Attorney’s Office had initially sought a 12-year prison term for Lamichhane under the National Penal Code Act of 2017. However, the court settled on an eight-year sentence.
The news of Lamichhane’s sentencing has reverberated through the cricket community, both in Nepal and internationally. Before this fall from grace, Lamichhane had been a crucial figure in Nepali cricket, holding the record for the highest wicket-taker for the country in ODIs and T20Is.
He had also gained international recognition by playing in prestigious leagues such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Delhi Capitals and the Big Bash League.