Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichhane is glad he left an example for his country’s budding cricketers

"The future of Nepal cricket is bright as the players have a proper system to progress," Sandeep said.

Sandeep Lamichhane
Sandeep Lamichhane. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

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Over the years, cricket has seen a horizontal spread, gaining grounds in places that have not been known for the game. While Rashid Khan evolved as a sensation even before Afghanistan attained the Test status, Nepal’s Sandeep Lamicchane surprised the cricketing fraternity in May last year when he was picked for the ICC World XI in a T20I game against the West Indies at Lord’s.

The teenager from a side that has been far away from being a cricketing powerhouse soon became a popular name in some of the world’s leading T20 franchise leagues — be it the Indian Premier League or the Pakistan Super League. Lamichhane, a leg-break bowler, made his international debut last year and with Nepal playing more games than earlier, has added to his experience.

In six ODIs and 18 T20Is so far, he has taken 43 wickets. His recent most engagement has been in the T10 League in Abu Dhabi in which he played for the Karnataka Tuskers. With Nepal not being a Test-playing nation, Lamichhane has to build up his reputation more by concentrating on the T20s and T20Is and his recent participation in the T10 League showed that he is ready to take up every challenge that comes towards him.

“The T10 format is a challenge for not just bowlers but also for the batsmen as they are expected to score runs at a fast rate which can be risky. For a bowler, especially a spinner, to try and stop runs is a huge ask and there really is no time to relax as 10 overs can go very quickly.

Sometimes perfectly reasonable balls can go for a six and a rank full toss can earn you a wicket when you least expect it,” the 19-year-old was quoted as saying by PakPassion in an interview.

Lamichhane, Nepal’s first big cricketing icon

Sandeep Lamichhane can be clearly called his country’s first big cricketing icon and his stardom has made the Himalayan country’s cricketing future look brighter. “Nepalese cricket has been affected by some internal administrative problems in the past 3 or 4 years, but I am glad to say that we are moving ahead rapidly and all the players are now much happier and much more motivated than before.

“The future of Nepal cricket is bright as the players have a proper system to progress and if we can now improve our infrastructure further then the sky is the limit for us,” he said. Lamicchane said his cricketing journey so far has been “beautiful” as he had a point to make for himself, his family and also his country.

As someone who always wanted to lead others, Lamichhane said: “My aim was always to provide an example for others to follow in my country where traditionally there was little interest in cricket, especially for the youngsters whose parents did not see a future in the game due to a lack of facilities in Nepal.

“I felt that if I could be honest in my efforts, I could achieve anything and I am glad to say that with my example, I now see many more parents taking their kids to cricket academies and the game is flourishing in Nepal.”

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