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Nepal's players arrive for a practice session at the National Stadium in Karachi, ahead of the Asia Cup 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Kathmandu: The rape trial of Nepal’s cricket star Sandeep Lamichhane was postponed on Sunday, allowing him to join teammates in Pakistan for the upcoming Asia Cup, his lawyer said.

Spinner Lamichhane, 23, once the poster boy for the rise of cricket in Nepal, is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in a Kathmandu hotel room in August last year. Lamichhane denies all charges.

The latest hearing on Sunday was deferred until September 7, Lamichhane’s lawyer Saroj Ghimire said.

“Sandeep will now fly to Pakistan to play,” Ghimire told AFP.

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23-year-old spinner Lamichhane was once the poster boy for the rise of cricket in Nepal. Image Credit: Twitter

Last year, Lamichhane was suspended as national captain and arrested, but was freed on bail in January and Nepal then lifted his ban on playing.

Under his bail conditions, Lamichhane has been able to travel abroad, including to Zimbabwe for the World Cup qualifiers.

The six-nation ODI Asia Cup opens Wednesday in Multan, Pakistan, where the hosts will clash with debutants Nepal.

Pakistan will co-host the 50-over tournament with Sri Lanka, where nine of the 13 matches — including the final in Colombo on September 17 — will be played.

Nepal failed to make the cut for the 50-over showpiece event in India in October.