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Sandeep Lamichhane: Nepal's cricketing sensation

880   //    05 Jun 2018, 16:42 IST

Mosman v Western Suburbs
Mosman v Western Suburbs

The young man Lamichhane who hails from Syangja, Nepal, made a name for himself after being the first Nepalese player to get an IPL contract. He was snapped up by the Delhi Daredevils at his base price of Rs. 20 lakhs. Lamichhane, who considers legendary leg spinner Shane Warne his idol, is a right-handed leg spinner himself. 

Lamichhane getting picked up in the auction was a big deal, but he did one better by delivering a handful of impressive performances towards the business end of the tournament. He well and truly grabbed his opportunity with both arms.

The fact that he is only 17-years-old makes it all the more impressive. In total, he managed to take five wickets in three matches with an astounding average of 16.4 while also chipping in with a few crucial runs with the bat. 

His excellent displays at the IPL earned him a place in the ICC Rest of the World XI side, which took on the West Indies at Lords. His selection further enhanced his reputation, with the potential to become a world-class spinner in future - while receiving praise from numerous legends of the game. 

Lamichhane has the ability to deceive batsman with his changes of pace and also can spin the ball both ways. He dismissed Indian captain MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina in his second ever IPL match, which truly were moments to savour for the young spinner. 

In addition to this, he delivered a Man of the Match performance in Delhi's final game of the campaign, picking up three wickets against the Mumbai Indians.

He has also been drafted into the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada tournament. Playing for the Montreal Tigers alongside the likes of Lasith Malinga, Sunil Narine and Mohammed Hafeez, it'll be a new but beneficial experience. 

Scotland v Nepal - ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier
Lamichhane (centre) during Nepal's World Cup qualifier against Scotland

He was also previously part of the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots squad in the Caribbean Premier League. On the international scene, he represented his national side for the first time in April 2016 - aged just 15 against Namibia in the ICC World Cricket League Championship. Before his debut, he was named as part of Nepal's under-19 side in the 2016 Cricket World Cup. 

He took a hat-trick in the second match of the tournament against Ireland - the first ever by a Nepalese player in history. He finished as the second-highest wicket taker, too. This kick-started his career, earning him a spot in Nepal's senior side ahead of the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament. 

He shone brightly here, finishing one better than two years prior as the highest wicket taker and also received the accolade for player of the tournament. 

The fact that Lamichhane is only 17-years-old and already has achieved so much - from a country with limited cricketing facilities - is nothing short of remarkable. The young man has put Nepal on the global cricketing map and definitely has given a lot more hope for the Nepal cricket to progress further in future. 

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is among those who have praised his achievements. With so many years left to grow and develop, Lamichhane will only keep improving and hopefully make Nepal a proper cricketing nation in the years to come.

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