Sandeep Lamichhane (centre) was arrested in October 2022
Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has been found guilty of rape and could face up to 10 years in prison.
The 23-year-old – Nepal’s most high-profile cricketer – was arrested in October 2022 and is currently on bail.
The court concluded that the victim was 18 at the time of the offence, and not a minor as had been previously reported.
Lamichhane is due to be sentenced on 10 January but his lawyer said they will appeal against the verdict.
“We did not expect this judgement, we are frustrated,” Sabita Bhandari Baral told Reuters.
“We’ll definitely appeal.”
Lamichhane – who has played in Australia’s Big Bash and the Indian Premier League – was suspended as Nepal captain in September 2022 following the rape accusation.
After a warrant was issued for his arrest, he was taken into custody after flying home to Kathmandu from playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
At the time, he said on Facebook he was returning to co-operate with the investigation and denied any wrongdoing.
Following his release on bail, Lamichhane returned to the Nepal side in February amid protests for a Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series against Scotland and Namibia.
Players from both opposition nations refused to shake his hand, but Lamichhane continued to play for Nepal throughout 2023.