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"I have been mentally and physically affected" - Sandeep Lamichhane opens up after being suspended over sexual assault charges

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Sandeep Lamichhane continues to deny the allegations. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Suspended Nepal skipper Sandeep Lamichhane is going through a difficult phase in his life after the leg-spinner was accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl in Kathmandu.

Two weeks after Nepal Police issued an arrest warrant against him, the leg-spinner finally came out with a statement. It said that the incident had severely affected his mental health and that he is planning to return to Nepal at the earliest to defend himself against the "false accusations".

The Cricket Association of Nepal suspended Lamichhane immediately after the warrant was issued against his name. The former Delhi Capitals player was competing for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League when the warrant was issued. He was subsequently released by the franchise.

"I was not able to think about what to do and what not to do,โ€ Lamichhane was quoted as saying in a Facebook post which was written in Nepali.

Sandeep Lamichhane aiming to make strong comeback

The leg-spinner vouched to make a powerful comeback and fight the false allegations. He further mentioned that he needed to consult a doctor for his mental health and is in the process of recovery.

"All these things affected me mentally on one hand and, on the other hand, I had to go through illness, and due to mental stress and ill health, I kept myself in isolation.
"I have been mentally and physically affected by the portrayal and I have reached a state of imbalance and I have been bringing myself back to a normal state under the advice of doctors. My health is gradually improving, and I am planning to return to Nepal as soon as possible to defend against the false complaint against me,โ€ the cricketer added.
#SandeepLamichhaneNepal seeks Interpol's help to find fugitive cricket starRead: toi.in/ZLqqHZ69/a24gk https://t.co/oOy7cbOqgS

A 17-year-old girl had alleged Lamichhane of raping her in a hotel room in Kathmandu, which was confirmed by Kathmandu Police before an arrest warrant was issued against him.

The alleged victim had stated that she was a fan of the leg-spinner and used to interact with him on social media apps WhatsApp and Snapchat. She further said that it was Lamichhane himself who had initiated the meeting. However, the suspended Nepal captain denied the allegations and continues to stand his ground. He said:

"I will fight the legal battle against the false accusations. As far as I understand, according to the constitution of Nepal, I am innocent until proven guilty. I also understand that the constitution provides for the right to live with dignity, the right against torture, the right to privacy, the right to health, and the right to consult with my legal practitioner."

Sandeep Lamichhane is by far the most high-profile cricketer from Nepal. He is also the only Nepalese cricketer to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). His last international assignment was against Kenya in a five-match T20I series in August.

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Edited by Yash Singh
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