Nepali police have sought help from Interpol to locate the country’s fugitive suspended national cricket captain, they said Tuesday.
A Nepali court issued an arrest warrant for Sandeep Lamichhane earlier this month following an allegation of rape by a 17-year-old girl.
But the leg-spinner is thought to have remained in the Caribbean where he was playing in a tournament.
Interpol issued a “diffusion” notice against him on Sunday asking member countries for their co-operation locating him, Nepali police spokesperson Tek Prasad Rai told AFP.
“We hope this will help the arrest of Lamichhane for the investigation of a rape complaint case against him,” he said.
Lamichhane had pledged on social media Sunday to return home “as soon as possible” to fight the accusation.
Without revealing his whereabouts, the 22-year-old posted on Facebook that he was in “isolation” due to his mental and physical condition, saying the arrest warrant had “made me mentally disturbed”.
Lamichhane had been a poster boy for the rise of cricket in mountainous Nepal, which gained one-day international status in 2018.
His big break came when he was snapped up by the Delhi Capitals for the money-spinning Indian Premier League in 2018, and he has since been Nepal’s most sought-after cricketer.
After the arrest warrant was issued he was suspended as captain of the national team and he pulled out of the Caribbean Premier League, where he was playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs.
About 2,300 rape cases were reported in Nepal in the last fiscal year, according to police, but rights workers say many more assaults go unreported.
Only a handful of women in Nepal spoke out during the #MeToo movement, and those accused have faced little or no repercussions over the allegations.