The provisional 15-person Nepal team list that was released on February 23 for the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series is missing Sandeep Lamichhane’s name. Due to his inability to travel, Lamichhane was not chosen for the tournament, which also includes UAE and PNG. But, given that efforts are being made to obtain a judge’s approval for the player to travel, things are likely to change shortly.
The court’s ruling will be made public on Friday, which is also Nepal’s final day to make changes to their team, according to a report on ESPNcricinfo. While free on bail, the 22-year-old is being investigated for allegations of sexual coercion. He is currently prohibited from leaving the country by the terms of his bail.
On February 27, Nepal’s campaign in the tri-series will get underway when they take on PNG. Last week, Lamichhane’s significance to the Nepal team was demonstrated by the 13 wickets he took in four games of the tri-series against Scotland and Namibia. All four games of the series were won by Nepal thanks to his outstanding performance. In each of the first three games, Lamichhane took three wickets, and in the championship match against Scotland, he finished with a four-fer.
Nonetheless, despite excelling on the field, Lamichhane’s off-field problems have not spared him, as several supporters and rivals protested against his participation in the tri-series. Significantly, Namibia elected to bump fists with Lamichhane after one of their games whereas the Scotland team chose not to shake hands with Lamichhane after the game. In advance of the series, the boards of both nations also released statements in which they declared their opposition to gender-based violence.
Surya Tamang, a left-arm spinner who was a member of the 14-member squad for the home tri-series, is also absent from this preliminary team. Aarif Sheikh, Pratish GV, and Shyam Dhakal have all been called up for the series in Dubai, where each side would play the other two teams twice. They were all reserves for the series at home. After that, the action will return to Nepal, where each of the three teams will play the other once there beginning on March 9. Within the seven-team World Cup League 2, Nepal is ranked sixth. Lamichhane has taken 55 wickets, which is the most for Nepal and places him third in the competition.
Squad: Rohit Paudel (capt), Dipendra Singh Airee, Kushal Bhurtel, Gyanendra Malla, Bhim Sharki, Karan KC, Sompal Kami, Aasif Sheikh, Aarif Sheikh, Gulshan Jha, Sundeep Jora, Lalit Rajbanshi, Kushal Malla, Pratis GV, Shyam Dhakal