Sandeep Lamichhane ruled out of T20 World Cup 2024 as his US Visa gets rejected again

Published - 31 May 2024, 01:29 PM | Updated - 31 May 2024, 01:41 PM

Sandeep Lamichhane
Sandeep Lamichhane (Image Credits: Twitter)

Nepal cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane is likely to miss the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled to be played in the West Indies and the United States of America (USA) in June. The United States rejected Sandeep Lamichhane's visa for a second time, despite intervention from the Cricket Association of Nepal.

Sandeep Lamichhane last played for Nepal in the 2023 T20 World Cup Asia Finals. The young leg-spinner gained valuable experience competing against teams like India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup last year. Lamichhane has also played for various T20 franchises globally, including the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the IPL.

Earlier this month, the Patan High Court overturned the Kathmandu District Court's decision to convict Sandeep Lamichhane of rape. Following this decision, the Cricket Association of Nepal lifted the ban on Lamichhane. Sandeep was allowed to participate in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 without legal hindrances.

Sandeep Lamichhane applied for a visa after being acquitted of a legal case. However, his application was rejected last week. The Cricket Association of Nepal and the Nepali government intervened, but his second application was also denied, preventing him from participating in the ICC tournament.

Embassy Has Expressed Its Inability To Give Travel Permission - CAN

CAN stated that Sandeep Lamichhane's request for travel permission to participate in the 2024 T20 World Cup was denied by the US Embassy despite extensive efforts from the government of Nepal and other organizations.

"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, 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 to national player Lamichhane to play in the World Cup," CAN said in a statement as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

Visa Records Are Confidential Under US Law - Spokesperson Of The US Embassy

A spokesperson of the US Embassy declined to comment on individual visa cases, citing confidentiality under US law. However, the spokesperson stated that members of national cricket teams, who qualify for the appropriate visa class, can travel in time to compete in the World Cup.

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

Nepal is part of Group D in the T20 World Cup 2024, alongside Bangladesh, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands. They will commence their campaign against the Netherlands on June 4 at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas. Nepal aims to advance to the Super 8 stage in the marquee tournament.

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