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Lamichhane vows to return home to fight rape claim

  • Afp, Kathmandu
  • 27 September, 2022 12:00 AM
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Lamichhane vows to return home to fight rape claim

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Nepali cricket star Sandeep Lamichhane defended failing to return home to face rape allegations almost three weeks after an arrest warrant, saying he intends to do so "as soon as possible".

A Nepali court issued the warrant on September 8 following an allegation by a 17-year-old girl, but Lamichhane is thought to have remained in the Caribbean, where he was playing in a tournament.

With police believed to be preparing to file an arrest warrant with Interpol, Lamichhane on Sunday issued a statement on social media reiterating that the claims against him were baseless.

"News of the arrest warrant issued against me... made me mentally disturbed. I could not think what to do and what not to do," he wrote.

"My health condition is gradually improving and I am planning to return to Nepal as soon as possible to vehemently fight back (against the allegations)."

Lamichhane, 22, had been a poster boy for the rise of cricket in mountainous Nepal, which gained one-day international status in 2018.

The social media post did not reveal his whereabouts but he is believed to still be in the Caribbean.

The teenage girl, along with her guardian, filed a complaint against the player earlier this month, alleging that he raped her in a Kathmandu hotel room in August.

Police official Bharat Bohora on Monday declined to comment on Lamichhane's latest comments, saying that investigators have had no contact with the cricketer.

"The police is investigating the rape complaint filed against Sandeep Lamichhane. The investigation is on a preliminary stage," Bohora told AFP.