Sandeep Lamichhane, the captain of Nepal’s cricket team, on Friday refuted claims that he had sexually assaulted 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. Lamichhane declared on his social media platforms that he was “INNOCENT” and that he “keeps entire belief in the respectable laws of Nepal.” “I have decided to take a leave from CPL and go back to my country within a few days,” he tweeted. “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.”
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 lucrative Indian Premier League. Since then, he has become the most in-demand Nepali cricketer in international T20 tournaments. 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.
Police reported 2,300 rape cases in Nepal during the most recent fiscal year, but human rights advocates contend that many more assaults go unreported. The accused have experienced little to no consequences as a result of the allegations, and just a small number of women in Nepal have spoken out during the #MeToo movement. After an aspiring model posted a series of TikTok videos documenting abuse she experienced as a teenager, hundreds of people rallied in Kathmandu in support of stricter rules and enforcement in cases of sexual violence in May.