“We are growing the game in every part of Nepal,” Sandeep Lamichhane
Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal's teen sensation continues his mind-numbing surge in world cricket. After the highs of being picked by Delhi Daredevils in the IPL to become his country's first representative in the biggest franchise tournament of cricket, Lamichhane went on to be included in the ICC World XI and made his T20 international debut and now he has been drafted to St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League, all of age 17.
Think all the way back to 1992, when Yorkshire forfeited 129 long years of strict home-picking tradition to sign a 19-year-old Sachin Tendulkar. That's how special Lamichhane's journey has been.
"I hope I’ll make it count. Playing with big names such as Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis, it will be a good booster for me," he said speaking to ICC, excited for another phase in his whirlwind ride so far.
“I just want to grow my cricket every time so that I can help Nepal go forward. The journey has been good so far and I would like to keep it that way."
For a teen, he displays incredible foresight and instead of acting his age by being an adrenaline-rushed athlete making it big, he is incredibly humble, perhaps a reflective of his somber nationality.
He had a major hand in Nepal gaining ODI status for the first time when they defeated Papua New Guinea by six wickets in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. Lamichhane picked up four wickets for just 29 runs to restrict PNG to a paltry 114, which was then easily gunned down by the batsmen.
“We are growing the game in every part of Nepal,” he said. “We’ve secured ODI status for four years. We are looking forward to making an impact on the international arena so that we can be in the Test playing nation very soon.”
Surely, with passionate cricketers like Lamichhane himself, promoting the game in the nation via worldwide representation and skipper Paras Khadka's hard work to gel the team together as an integral part of their success, they might achieve the former's vision sooner rather than later.
Lamichhane's journey began when he was spotted in a T20 league in Hong Kong, by none other than the then recently retired Aussie skipper Michael Clarke, who he impressed with his prodigious leg-spin bowling. Clarke took him under his wings and helped him grow as a cricketer by getting him to play grade cricket in Sydney for Clarke's native club Western Suburbs, and the results have been visible and surely a bright beacon for not just Nepalese, but world cricket.