A viral video from February 17 shows the Scotland men’s cricket team declining to shake hands with Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane following their match in Kirtipur. Lamichhane, who is facing accusations of rape involving a minor, is currently on bail awaiting a final judgment in the Kathmandu District Court.
Scotland’s action was a silent protest against Lamichhane’s participation in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 series. The video captures Scotland captain Richie Berrignton extending his hand but not shaking the spinner’s hand after the match, and Lamichhane subsequently walking away without interacting with other players.
You can watch the video here:
What people with a spine dopic.twitter.com/bxsr18iCFB
— asia cup hype account 🏏 ⚾ 🏒 ⚽🏍️ (@ChadvumaFan) September 6, 2023
The video gained renewed attention after Indian captain Rohit Sharma presented Sandeep Lamichhane with a signed jersey following their historic first-ever ODI encounter in the 2023 Asia Cup. However, Rohit and those applauding it as a ‘kind gesture’ are facing criticism for potentially not being fully aware or appropriately responding to the serious allegations against Lamichhane.
It’s worth noting that this wasn’t an isolated incident, as earlier this year, Namibia’s players also declined to shake hands with the spinner after a match.
Why is Sandeep Lamichhane allowed to continue participating in international cricket?
Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal’s most prominent cricketer, with previous IPL experience, faced arrest in October last year, nearly a month after a court issued a warrant related to the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl. He was apprehended but maintained his innocence throughout the process.
Following his arrest, he was removed from the captaincy and suspended from international cricket. However, the ban was later lifted in January after he was released on bail. There was uncertainty regarding his participation in the Asia Cup due to an impending court hearing in the case. Nevertheless, in late August, the court postponed the hearing to September 7.
The cricketer’s legal team faces allegations of submitting fraudulent documents to the court, trying to portray the girl as not a minor and suggesting that their interactions were consensual. However, the court detected this deception and called for a thorough investigation.
Furthermore, the legal team has been criticized for disclosing the identity of the alleged victim on social media.
Currently, she is under the care of Maiti Nepal, an organization committed to protecting girls from gender-based violence. These actions have prompted numerous protests against the Cricket Association of Nepal in Kathmandu.