An investigation has been launched against Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal’s national cricket team captain, after a teenage girl accused him of allegedly drugging and raping her in August.
The police in the country’s capital Kathmandu said on Wednesday that they have received a complaint against Lamichhane from a 17-year-old minor.
The 22-year-old right-arm leg-spinner of Nepal has a record of taking the highest-ever wickets in the country in both ODIs and T20s.
“The police are sensitive to such serious incidents. We have made the supposed survivor undergo a health check-up and launched an investigation,” says Rabindra Prasad Dhanuk, the Kathmandu Valley Police Office chief, told the Nepali news website onlinekhabar.
In her complaint, the teenage girl said she was a fan of the cricketer and used to often talk to him on WhatsApp and Snapchat before Lamichhane proposed meeting in person.
The two met on the eve of the Nepal cricket team’s Kenya tour on 22 August when they went on a trip to Bhaktapur, a city in the capital, according to the report.
The girl was not able to return to her hostel in Madhya Baneshwar as the entry closed at 8pm, compelling the teenager to stay in the hotel.
She alleged that Lamichhane did not agree to her request of staying in separate rooms and allegedly drugged her. She accused the cricketer of raping her twice.
Sandeep Lamichhane, 22, is facing rape charges in Kathmandu
Lamichhane who is currently in Nairobi for the Caribbean Premier League has not released any statement on the matter yet.
Starting his career with an unofficial senior team debut as a 15-year-old in 2015 against a MCC squad, Lamichhane rose to become a cricketing icon in Nepal with his first international breakthrough in 2016 when he was selected for the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
He became the leading wicket-taker of the country with 14 wickets in his name in six games.
At the age of 17, he became the first Nepali player to feature in the Indian Premier League auction and was picked up by Delhi Daredevils, fetching a bid of $31,000 approx.
In 2018, he again became the first Nepali player to be drafted in Caribbean Premier League. So far, he has played 30 ODI and 44 T20I, picking up 69 wickets and 85 wickets respectively.