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Scotland cricketers refuse to shake hands with rape-accused Lamichhane


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Photo: Sandeep Lamichhane

|| AFP ||

Scotland's cricketers refused to shake hands with rape-accused Nepal star Sandeep Lamichhane following a match between the two nations in Kirtipur on Friday.

Lamichhane is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in a Kathmandu hotel room last August.


He was suspended as national captain and arrested, but was freed on bail at the end of last month, with Nepal's cricket association announcing a day later his ban had been lifted. 


Lamichhane returned to the side in the opening game of the one-day international World Cup League 2 tri-series against Namibia in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

As has become traditional at the end of most cricket internationals, Nepal and Scotland lined up to shake hands with each other at the end of Friday's game but video footage confirmed the Scots made a point of refusing to do with Lamichhane.

Cricket Scotland made no public comment about the gesture which came at the end of a one-day match the Scots lost by three wickets.

But AFP understands it came after a unanimous vote by Scotland players and support staff, with both the Cricket Association of Nepal and the player himself made aware of the protest in advance. 

Lamichhane, who has denied the allegations against him in a Facebook post, is likely to receive similar treatment when the teams next meet on February 21.

The 22-year-old took 3-27 on Friday as Nepal recovered from 77-5 and 177-6 to chase down 275 with three overs to spare. 

In Tuesday's opening game against Namibia, Lamichhane took 3-66 in a two-wicket win.

Before the tri-series started, Cricket Scotland issued a statement, saying 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".

It added: "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 (International Cricket Council) to consider."

The ICC, however, have yet to comment publicly comment on Lamichhane's selection.

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

His big break came when he was snapped up by the Delhi Capitals for the big-money Indian Premier League that year, and he has since been Nepal's most sought-after cricketer. 

Nepal's next match of the tri-series is against Namibia on Saturday.