Former Nepalese cricket star Sandeep Lamichhane clear of rape. GETTY IMAGES

Nepali cricket sensation Sandeep Lamichhane saw his rape conviction overturned on appeal Wednesday, following a challenge by the former national captain against an eight-year prison sentence for sexual assault issued in January.

"The high court has overturned the district court's decision. Sandeep Lamichhane has been acquitted," Bimal Parajuli, a spokesman for the Patan High Court, told AFP. 

Nepal's cricket association revoked the suspension of former captain and prominent player Lamichhane on Wednesday, it has since been confirmed.

"As the honourable High Court of Patan has decided that... Sandeep Lamichhane is innocent in the rape case against him, he has been released from suspension from all domestic and international cricket activities," Cricket Association of Nepal president Chatur Bahadur Chand said in a statement.

At 23 years old, Lamichhane has been a prominent figure in Nepali cricket and is the sole player from the Himalayan nation to compete in major Twenty20 leagues across India, Australia, Pakistan, and the West Indies.

Cricket star Lamichhane has been cleared of rape. GETTY IMAGES
Cricket star Lamichhane has been cleared of rape. GETTY IMAGES

Following a police-issued arrest warrant in 2022 related to the assault case, the leg-spinner was suspended from his role as Nepal's captain and detained. He was subsequently released on bail. 

“He had to be cleared and the high court has set him free. He was not guilty,” Sabita Bhadari Baral, an attorney representing the player, informed Reuters after the court ruling, the specifics of which have not been disclosed yet.

Lamichhane appeared jubilant outside the court following the verdict. His supporters marked the occasion by playing traditional musical pipes and drumming in celebration.