Sandeep Lamichhane Adds Nepali Flavour in Caribbean Premier League
“The journey has been good so far”
Following a fruitful debut in the lucrative Indian Premier League (5 scalps in 3 matches) earlier this year, Sandeep Lamichhane, the 17-year old leggie is all set to add Nepali flavour in the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The youngster will be representing St Kitts & Nevis Patriots team in the tournament, which will be played from August 8 to September 16.
Coming from the remote Chitwan Province of the Himalayan Nation, Lamichhane has taken giant leaps in his career so far. In Nepal, he is arguably the most famous cricketer after skipper Paras Khadka. Back in November 2015, he made his unofficial senior team debut as a 15-year-old against a touring MCC squad. Soon ‘Sandy’ was picked in the Kowloon Cantons squad at the inaugural Hong Kong T20 Blitz in May 2016, where he shared the dressing room with former Australia captain Michael Clarke.
That rain-hit T20 Blitz competition proved to be a career-changing assignment for Lamichhane, as he impressed Clarke so much that he invited the young wrist-spinner to play club cricket in Sydney.
From there, Lamichhane never looked back as plenty of international success came in his way both at age-ground and in the senior level.
Last year, he became the first player from his country to be picked up at the IPL auction, fetching a bid of INR 20 lakh from Delhi Daredevils. Lamichhane soon justified the hype surrounding him by a Player-of-the-Tournament performance at 2018 WCL Division Two in Namibia, picking up 17 wickets and taking Nepal into the World Cup Qualifier for only the second time ever.
In March 2018, when Lamichhane was in Zimbabwe for the Qualifiers, his name was drafted in the CPL. Again, he became the first cricketer from his country to achieve this feat. On those dry Caribbean tracks, one believes the young leggie will be an asset to his side.
“I was in Zimbabwe then, I was playing World Cup qualifiers and I got lots of messages from well-wishers. By the time I got selected for the CPL everyone was so happy and they were cherishing all these moments,” the youngster recently said in an interview with the official website of CPL.
The teenager feels, his exposure and experience in the IPL will be a big asset for him going into the CPL 2018. Also, he has expressed his eagerness to share the dressing room with the likes of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis at the ‘Biggest Party in Sport’, as they say in CPL.
“It’s always good playing with some legends, playing with big names. It is a big achievement for me and for Nepal cricketers. I’m just looking forward to keep remaining [at this level]. Playing three matches [at the IPL], it gave me a lot of good confidence and I hope I will continue on the same form,” he said.
“I used to follow CPL from the beginning and I’ve been selected for St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots. It’s a big achievement for me, and again a good challenge for me ahead. I hope I’ll make it count, to play with big names, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis it will be a good booster for me,” Lamichhane added further.
Along with Zimbabwe’s Graeme Cremer and South Africa’s Tabraiz Shamsi, he is the third wrist-spinner in the Patriots squad. So, Lamichhane may not be the first-choice in the starting eleven. However, the soft-spoken ‘Sandy’ (aka Lama) doesn’t want to think about his place right now. By his own admission, in CPL, his primary goal will be to grow as a cricketer and carry the flag of Nepal cricket.
“I just want to grow my cricket every time so that I can help Nepal cricket to go on a good high range of cricket. The journey has been good so far and I would like to keep it on the same form so that I can help Nepal cricket,” Lamichhane signed off.