Nepal’s globetrotting cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane was left gutted after visa issues forced him to pull out of the inauguaral edition of The Hundred despite being in England for quarantine.
The Hundred, a 100-ball competition, launched by the England and Wales Cricket Board, is scheduled to begin from Thursday in London. Sandeep was roped in by Oval Invincibles of cricket’s newest version.
Sandeep said he had carried for a Tier 5 category Visa for which he had applied for Vitality Blast, England’s domestic Twenty20 competition. But two days before the completion of the mandatory 10-day quarantine, the leg spinner was told by the ECB that his Visa was not valid for The Hundred competition.
The COVID-19 situation in Nepal had delayed his Visa process for the Vitality Blast where he was supposed to play for Worcestershire Rapids. He had also ended up missing that tournament.
Sandeep also said he was not given any answer over why his Visa was deemed invalid. “I have been asking what went wrong but apparently no one at the ECB have the correct answer. I can totally understand that things can go south at anytime. However, I at least deserve a clear answer on why my valid visa is not valid anymore,” a disappointed Sandeep posted on social media.
“I left a lot to be the part of this exciting tournament and totally pray and wish the best for all teams out there. I always got love from the lovely people of UK and I would urge ECB to look into the matter so that no one else has to go through this ordeal. I can also feel for my people who were so looking forward to my participation in this amazing tournament. There will be better days ahead,” he added.
This is the third time this year that Sandeep had to pull out from a global franchise competition. Previously, he joined Lahore Qalandars replacing Rashid Khan in the Pakistan Super League but the tournament was postponed due to surge of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan.
He was already in Pakistan in quarantine when the tournament was called of. The tournament later completed in the UAE but Sandeep was not called during the resumption. Vitality Blast was another tournament that he missed out on.
Technically, 2020 Caribbean Premier League is the only franchise tournament that Sandeep had played in the last one and half year. He left for UAE to compete in the Indian Premier League for Delhi Capitals but never featured in a single match.
Delhi had released Sandeep after the previous edition and he went unsold for the 2021 IPL which was also halted due to COVID-19 cases in India and is expected to be completed in September in the UAE.