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Lamichhane to join Nepal in Windies after US visa refusal

Sandeep Lamichhane in Nepal match kit
Lamichhane has played in the Big Bash in Australia and the Indian Premier League [Getty Images]

Sandeep Lamichhane will join Nepal's T20 World Cup squad in the West Indies after twice being denied a visa to enter the United States.

Nepal's government and the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had lobbied on the spin bowler's behalf with a second visa application but without success.

The 23-year-old was found guilty in December 2023 of raping an 18-year-old woman but that conviction was recently overturned.

Lamichhane has missed Nepal's defeat by the Netherlands in Dallas and will be absent when his country play Sri Lanka in Florida on Tuesday.

Nepal then play group matches against South Africa and Bangladesh in the West Indies, which is co-hosting the tournament with the US.

"Nepali player Sandeep Lamichhane will leave for the West Indies for the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup and join the Nepali national cricket team," said CAN secretary Paras Khadka in a statement.

In a post on social media, Lamichhane said: "I am now joining the national team for the last two matches in the West Indies and looking forward to fulfilling my dreams and the dream of all cricket lovers.

"To all our cricket fans and people back home everywhere who prayed for me, I will forever be grateful for your blessings."

Lamichhane, Nepal's former captain and biggest-name player, also had a visa application to the US rejected in 2019, when he was scheduled to play in the Caribbean Premier League.