Legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane is not in Nepal’s provisional 15-member squad for the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series be played in Dubai because of travel restrictions. That situation may change as efforts are believed to be underway to secure court permission for Lamichhane to travel – a decision of that is due on Friday, which is also the last day Nepal can make changes to their squad.
Lamichhane is currently out on bail, facing charges of the sexual coercion of another person, and current bail conditions restrict him from travel outside the country.
Nepal’s participation in the tri-series, featuring UAE and PNG, begins on Monday when they take on the latter in Dubai. Lamichhane’s importance to the Nepal team was underlined last week, as he picked up 13 wickets in four matches of the tri-series featuring Namibia and Scotland. That performance helped Nepal win all four games, albeit all of them were ultimately close finishes. He returned three wickets in each of the first three games before picking up four in the final against Scotland.
His participation in that series was met with some protest by fans as well as opponents. Scotland refused to shake hands with Lamichhane post-game, while Namibia decided to bump fists rather than shake hands after one of their games. The boards of both teams also issued statements ahead of the series, condemning gender-based violence.
Left-arm spinner Surya Tamang, who was part of the 14-member squad for that tri-series at home, is not in this provisional squad, seen by ESPNcricinfo. Aarif Sheikh, Pratish GV and Shyam Dhakal – all part of reserves for the series at home – have been included for the series in Dubai where each team will play the other twice. The caravan then moves back to Nepal where the three teams play each other twice each from March 9.
Nepal are placed sixth in the seven-team World Cup League 2. Lamichhane has picked up 55 wickets in the competition – the most for Nepal – and is third in the list of wicket-takers.