Sandeep Lamichhane is set to join the Nepal squad for the Caribbean leg of the 2024 T20 World Cup.

The Lamichhane saga has been filled with several twists and turns. 

Denial of US visa

Lamichhane was convicted of rape and was sentenced to eight years in prison before a Nepal high court overturned the verdict last month, acquitting him. It cleared his pathway to play cricket and represent Nepal again.

Consequently, the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) started pulling all possible strings to get the leg-spinner in the T20 World Cup squad. However, he was denied a US visa forcing Nepal to travel to the World Cup without Lamichhane.

Participation in the Caribbean leg

Nepal's first two matches of the World Cup are scheduled in the US, in Dallas and Lauderhill to be precise, following which they travel to St. Vincent for their last two first-round fixtures. 

Interestingly, St. Vincent and The Grenadines is one of the few countries in the world that doesn't require a visa for Nepal residents to visit. Taking advantage of the fact, Nepal are now set to include Lamichhane in their squad for the last two first-round games.

Was Lamichhane already part of Nepal's World Cup squad?

To make a change in the squad mid-way through the World Cup, teams have to get approval from the ICC, and they can only do so on valid grounds. 

Lamichhane was not listed in the initial set of 15 players that was announced by Nepal and the ICC. However, according to ESPNCricinfo, the CAN president has said that Nepal had originally submitted only 14 names to the ICC, leaving room for a late inclusion of Lamichhane.

While there's no official update from the ICC yet, according to the ESPNCricinfo report, the governing body has given the allowance to Nepal to include Lamichhane since they had only named 14 players initially.

Lamichhane also made a social media post today (June 10), announcing that he is "joining the national team for the last two matches in the West Indies".

Nepal have played one game so far at the T20 World Cup, losing by six wickets against the Netherlands. Their next matches are against Sri Lanka (June 12), South Africa (June 15), and Bangladesh (June 17).