U.S. Embassy denies visa to Sandeep Lamichhane for 2024 ICC T20 World Cup

U.S. Embassy denies visa to Sandeep Lamichhane for 2024 ICC T20 World Cup

Nepali cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane has been denied a visa by the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu for the second time, throwing his participation in the upcoming 2024 ICC T20 World Cup into doubt.

The embassy declined to issue Lamichhane a visa on Thursday during his interview, as Nepal's national team prepared to travel to the United States for the prominent tournament. Lamichhane had been previously rejected a visa on May 22 before reapplying on Thursday. He used social media to share the news of the recent denial.

The U.S. Embassy responded vaguely, stating it could not comment on specific visa cases due to confidentiality laws. However, it wished the Nepali team well for the World Cup.

Lamichhane, a star leg-spinner, was recently acquitted of rape charges by the Patan High Court after initially being convicted by a district court in Kathmandu. Following the acquittal, the Nepal Cricket Association lifted his suspension with approval from the ICC for him to represent Nepal at the World Cup.

Nepal is drawn in Group D alongside South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands for the 20-team tournament co-hosted by the USA and West Indies.

The denialof a visa for Lamichhane, who was expected to be a key player, is a major blow for Nepal's chances. The team has already arrived in the U.S. and played some warm-up matches ahead of their opening game against the Netherlands on June 4 in Dallas.

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