The official meeting of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) held on 23 August last decided to suspend the captain of the national team, Sandeep Lamichhane. While he was accused of rape, he was arrested only on October 20th.
CAN reviewed the same decision about Sandeep and decided to release the suspension from the board meeting held in Pokhara. However, this decision of CAN, based on the majority, is currently in controversy.
Since the Nepal T-20 League agreement, questions have been raised about Can’s decision-making ability in the Sandeep case. Can announced the suspension of Sandeep on August 23 after being accused of ‘raping a 17-year-old minor’.
After Sandeep was released on conditional bail from the Patan High Court, CAN decided to lift the suspension, but officials of CAN said that there was not enough discussion about it. Dissatisfied parties say that Can, who suspended Sandeep while the rape case is not being tried, has raised questions about the fact that the case has not been decided. They claim that this also shows the immaturity of the can. However, the founding party of CAN has claimed that there is no justification as the decision was passed by legal advice.
What does the CAN statute say about player suspension and release?
In the statute of CAN, there is a provision that when making any decision, a proposal is brought from the executive committee to the board meeting and the reason for its approval or not. On the subject of Sandeep’s suspension and release, Can did not raise any issues. Although the board meeting in Pokhara decided to release Sandeep’s suspension, the adequate process was not completed.
Can itself reserves the right to suspend and release. However, experts say that there is a mandatory condition that must be followed in the process. Now it seems that CAN brings most of the decisions to the board meeting and they are passed by the force of the majority. Some decisions are made by the chairman himself.
A board member of CAN said that the process regarding the suspension and release of Sandeep is not complete. He said that the suspension and release of Sandeep was one of the few controversial decisions made by CAN.
“Can has made many decisions against the law. One of the decisions is the lifting of Sandeep’s suspension. Even when Sandeep was suspended, CAN did not complete the process’, he said, ‘CAN has the right to suspend and release. But it is necessary to complete it.
“Now let’s get Sandeep back in the game”
Sandeep seems happy about Can’s decision. Advocate Sarojkrishna Ghimire, who is looking into Sandeep’s case, has been saying that he should be given the captaincy of the cricket team again for the development of cricket. He said that Sandeep should be given the responsibility of captain again after the High Court Patan released him saying that there was no need to keep him in prison.
At the time of Sandeep’s release, Ghimire responded that since the condition of Nepali cricket was deteriorating, Can should give Sandeep the responsibility of captain again. Looking at the current situation of Nepali cricket, Sandeep is in need. By giving him the responsibility of captain again, Can should elevate Nepali cricket,” Ghimire had said.
‘Can has decided that cricket will be affected’
However, Advocate Mohan Ansari responded that by deciding to lift Sandeep’s suspension, CAN had mocked the laws of the state. He says that it would be better if a big organization like CAN adopts sensitivity when making such a decision. “It looked like a big body like CAN mocked the law of the state”, she said, “This decision of CAN can affect Nepali cricket itself. On the other hand, players can also be born differently. However, violating the law sends a bad message.
She argued that there is a provision in the laws of Nepal that people involved in serious crimes like rape are not eligible to hold any public office. However, she said that it was surprising that Can made a decision without considering it.
“We are not involved in the decision about Sandeep”
Meanwhile, seven CAN board members have said that they were not involved in the decision to lift Sandeep Lamichhane’s suspension. Executive committee member Chumbi Lama said that they demanded the resignation of executive committee member and chairman Chand regarding spot fixing in Nepal T-20 League, but he did not participate in the board meeting as it was not completed. Therefore, he said that they did not agree with any decision made by CAN in the said board meeting.
“After Can admitted that he proved to be weak in the matter of spot fixing, we demanded the resignation of the performance committee and chairman Chand. “We did not participate in the board meeting in Pokhara after their resignation was not received,” he said, “because of that, there was no question of us agreeing on the decisions made there.”
Central members including Rishi Ram Gautam, Daud Ansari, Sanjayraj Singh, Karan Mahatara Chhetri, Amitvir Pandey, and Dharmaraj Giri along with the president Chatur Bahadur Chand demanded the resignation of Prashantvikram Malla, Roshan Singh, Durgaraj Pathak and Padak Khadka of the Executive Committee while holding a press conference on Sunday.