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News

Sandeep Lamichhane named in Nepal squad for Scotland, Namibia tri-series

Legspinner selected despite being on bail after Cricket Association of Nepal suspension lifted

Sandeep Lamichhane is Nepal's highest wicket-taker in international cricket

Sandeep Lamichhane is set to return for Nepal  •  Peter Della Penna

Sandeep Lamichhane has been picked in Nepal's 14-man squad for the tri-series against Scotland and Namibia. The selection was widely expected once the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had lifted its suspension of the player and included him in a training camp for the series. Lamichhane is currently out on bail, though facing charges of sexual coercion of another person.
His impending selection and inclusion in the training camp had led to protests last weekend, with calls for a boycott of the tri-series. Both the visiting sides involved in the tri-series have issues statements that have hinted at - but stopped well short of expressing - unease over the selection.
CAN announced the squad on their Twitter feed on Friday. On Wednesday, Cricket Scotland said it was "aware of the reports regarding the legal status of Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane, ahead of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 Qualifiers. As a governing body, and as a squad, Cricket Scotland stands firmly against all forms of abuse, which have no place in modern society. The player's availability for these games is a matter for the Cricket Association of Nepal and the ICC to consider."
Their counterparts at Cricket Namibia said only that the board "strongly opposes all forms of gender-based violence, discrimination and abuse."
When Lamichhane's suspension was revoked by CAN, Britant Khanal, the board's general manager told ESPNcricinfo that it was on the condition that Lamichhane would "respect the limitation prescribed" by the court that granted him bail in January this year. If Nepal were to travel outside the country, Lamichhane's participation would depend on whether the court gave him permission for it or not. Lamichhane was taken into custody after he landed in Kathmandu in October last year, responding to an arrest warrant issued against him in September. At the time of the warrant, Lamichhane was participating in the Caribbean Premier League for Jamaica Tallawahs.
His suspension was revoked after he was granted bail by court, on the condition that he could not leave the country until a verdict had been reached in the case.
The tri-series is part of the ICC's Cricket World Cup League 2 and is set to be played in Kirtipur starting from February 14.
Nepal squad: Rohit Paudel (capt), Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh, Gyanendra Malla, Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Sundeep Jora, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Lalit Rajbanshi, Sandeep Lamichhane, Gulshan Jha, Bhim Sharki, Surya Tamang
Travelling reserves: Aarif Sheikh, Pratish GC, Shyam Dhakal, Arjun Saud