Nepal says Lamichhane denied visa for T20 World Cup

Nepalese leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane

Nepal said Thursday the US embassy had denied controversial star Sandeep Lamichhane a visa and there was a "slim or no chance" he would play in the T20 World Cup.

The T20 World Cup begins on Saturday, co-hosted by the United States and West Indies, with Nepal's first game on June 4 in Dallas.

Nepal wanted to select spin bowler Lamichhane, who had his eight-year sentence for rape quashed on appeal this month.

The former captain said last week his US visa had been denied, calling the decision "unfortunate".

Chhumbi Lama, central committee member of the Cricket Association of Nepal, said their subsequent bid to push for a US visa had failed.

"There is a slim -- or no chance -- for him to be involved in the World Cup," Lama told AFP.

"The Cricket Association of Nepal had lobbied to the US embassy through different Nepal government agencies, but the visa was denied."

Lamichhane, 23, was once the poster boy for cricket in Nepal, but was not included in the original squad because of the conviction for raping a young woman in a Kathmandu hotel in 2022.

The International Cricket Council said that all T20 World Cup squads had been named by the May 25 deadline.

Any alteration to Nepal's squad would now require approval from the ICC's event technical committee.