A Nepal court on Thursday released cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane on bail, more than three months after he was arrested on rape charges, officials said.
A joint bench of the Patan High Court judges Dhruvaraj Nanda and Ramesh Dhakal decided to release Lamichhane on bail of Rs 2 million, reversing the decision of the Kathmandu district court, according to the court officials.
However, 22-year-old Lamichhane has been barred from leaving the country until the final verdict of the court in the case, they said.
On September 8, a court in Nepal issued an arrest warrant for national cricket team captain Lamichhane after a 17-year-old girl alleged that he raped her in a hotel room in Kathmandu.
Lamichhane denied the charges, saying he is innocent, When the warrant was issued, he was participating in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and was also Nepal cricket team’s captain.
Lamichhane wrote on Facebook that he would “fully cooperate in all stages of the investigation and will fight a legal battle to prove my innocence”.
After his arrival in Nepal on October 6, he was arrested and sent to judicial custody.
Lamichhane is Nepal’s most high-profile cricketer, and the first cricketer from Nepal to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) when he made his debut for the Delhi Capitals franchise in 2018.
A wily leg-spinner, armed with a vicious googly, he was a much sought-after cricketer in other big-ticket T20 leagues around the world, including the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the CPL.
The prodigiously gifted cricketer holds the record for the world’s second-fastest bowler to capture 50 ODI wickets and the third-fastest to race to 50 T20I wickets. Lamichhane’s last international appearance came in August this year, when he played against Kenya in a T20I encounter.
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