Nepali leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has not been granted a UK work visa in time for the Vitality Blast and will not take part in the T20 competition, beginning on June 9.
After signing with Worcestershire in late March, Lamichhane has been released by the county following an extended delay to his work application and passport issues, effectively trapping the 20-year-old in his home country.
Sandeep’s saga has been ongoing, with a snag in his application as far back as May 26. The British Embassy in Nepal does not grant visas, with a process instead via the New Delhi British High Commission being the only path for applicants. Lamichhane had to leave Kathmandu by May 27 to be fully available for the tournament.
Even if Lamichhane was to receive an eleventh-hour lifeline by the authorities, he would likely miss up to eight matches due to quarantine and other competition Covid protocol. As a response to the issues outside their control, the Rapids have signed Kiwi Ish Sodhi as a like-for-like replacement.
In response to the unwelcome news, a dejected Lamichhane took to Facebook Live on Saturday night to vent his frustrations, citing a lack of help from the Nepali government and sporadic flights among other hurdles.
“I’m not really happy with the situation going around … I don’t know what’s going wrong.”
“I’m just very much concerned about the future of Nepal cricket and the future of Nepal. I don’t know what’s going to happen here.”
“The government doesn’t appreciate athletes like us.”
Lamichhane is still slated take part in The Hundred for the Oval Invincibles in late July, before travelling to the Caribbean to represent the Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL.
Lamichhane similarly had a visa application turned down to travel to last year’s CPL via flights through the USA, though a strong campaign from the Nepali public pushed his application to the front of the queue, to be eventually approved.
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