Nepal’s controversial Sandeep Lamichhane will join its T20 World Cup squad in the West Indies after missing matches in the United States because his visa was denied, the cricket association said Monday.

“Nepali player Sandeep Lamichhane will leave for the West Indies for the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup and join the Nepali national cricket team,” association secretary Paras Khadka said in a statement.

The T20 World Cup is co-hosted by the United States and West Indies.

Nepal had originally wanted to select former skipper Lamichhane, who had an eight-year sentence for rape quashed on appeal, but his US visa was denied twice despite intense lobbying.

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“I am now joining the national team for the last two matches in the West Indies and looking forward to fulfilling my dreams and the dream of all cricket lovers,” Lamichhane posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Spin bowler Lamichhane, 23, was once the poster boy for cricket in Nepal, but was convicted for raping a young woman in a Kathmandu hotel in 2022. That was quashed last month.

Nepal lost to the Netherlands by six wickets in its World Cup opener. It plays against Sri Lanka on Wednesday in Florida, before matches in the West Indies against South Africa and Bangladesh.