Nepal's Lamichhane denied US visa, will miss T20 World Cup 2024

Nepal's Lamichhane denied US visa, will miss T20 World Cup 2024


Sandeep Lamichhane has not been granted a US visa to take part in the tournament.

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KATHMANDU (Web Desk) - Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane will miss the T20 World Cup 2024 after his visa application to the USA was rejected for a second time.

His initial application was turned down last week, following which the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) and the Nepal government intervened on his behalf, but despite their efforts he was turned down again.

"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 said in a statement.

The board said it remains committed though to helping Lamichhane secure a visa for future travel to the US.

"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," a spokesperson of the US Embassy in Kathmandu said last week, according to Kathmandu Post. "We cannot comment on individual visa cases as visa records are confidential under US law."

Lamichhane, one of Nepal's most prominent cricketers, was arrested in October 2022 after being accused of the rape of an 18-year-old woman. He was immediately suspended by CAN. After a trial in January 2024, he was found guilty only to be acquitted on appeal by the Patan High Court in May, because of "a lack of evidence". CAN allowed him to resume playing cricket with immediate effect.

The T20 World Cup this year will be co-hosted by the USA and the West Indies. Nepal play their first game in a Group D clash against Netherlands on June 7 in Dallas, Texas. Their second game is against Sri Lanka in Lauderhill in Florida on June 11. Then they move to the Caribbean to play two games against South Africa and Sri Lanka.