CAN suspends cricket captain LamichhaneThe sought-after cricketer will no longer be able to play in international franchise tournaments.
The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) on Thursday suspended globe-trotting national captain Sandeep Lamichhane after Kathmandu District Court issued an arrest warrant on a rape charge. The suspension will cost him international franchise tournament contracts.
The Court issued arrest warrant acting on a case filed by Gaushala Police Circle after a 17-year-old girl on Tuesday accused the leg spinner of raping her on August 21, a day before the national cricket team left for Kenya tour.
“The suspension from the board means he is also not just suspended from national duty but all overseas franchise tournaments,” said CAN acting secretary Prashant Bikram Malla.
Lamichhane is currently in Trinidad & Tobago to play in the Caribbean Premier League from Jamaica Tallawahs. “We hope that Cricket West Indies, the organisers of the tournament, will inquire with CAN and suspend him from playing the remaining matches,” added Malla.
An approval by the domestic cricket board is mandatory for a player to participate in international franchise tournaments. Also in Lamichhane’s case, the cricket governing body had issued his ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) before his departure for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). But his suspension by the board means he will also be automatically suspended from the CPL.
Lamichhane, the most sought-after Nepali cricketer, has played in cash-rich mega international franchise tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL), Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL), the Pakistan Super League and the Global T20 League of Canada, among other international franchises.
Issuing a statement late in the evening on Thursday, CAN said, “…..following an arrest warrant by the Kathmandu District Court for further investigation into rape charge, the CAN work execution committee has decided to suspend Lamichhane.”
Lamichhane had flown to Trinidad & Tobago from Kenya after playing a five-match Twenty20 International series. He did not play the remaining two-match One-Day Series of the Kenya tour, and flew to Trinidad & Tobago to play the Caribbean Premier League.
Following his suspension, he will not be drafted in any other overseas leagues until he gets a clean chit from the court.
Former national cricket captain LB Chhetri believes that Lamichhane failed to understand the dignity of his position as national captain. “As the national cricket captain, Lamichhane is a role model and national hero. But he failed to justify his role,” said Chhetri. “If the allegations against him are proved, it is unlikely that he will ever return to the pitch due to psychological, social and cultural reasons.”
“But should he get a clean chit and receive ideal psychological counselling, he could still return to his best. There are several examples of cricketers aged 35 or more playing top level cricket. Lamichhane is only 22,” added Chhetri.