Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane became the first player from Nepal to play in the Indian Premier League, 2018 after making his debut for Delhi Daredevils against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Lamichhane, who was bought for Rs 20 lakh by Delhi Daredevils at the auctions earlier this year, is just 17 years old and his debut in the glitzy tournament certainly marks a new era in Nepal’s cricket. Mentored by Michael Clarke and backed by Ricky Ponting, Lamichhane is certainly one of the upcoming talents to look forward to. The teenage prodigy, who hails from Sauraha, Nepal made his presence felt way back in 2016 when he took a hat-trick against Ireland in the U-19 World Cup.
His association with India’s premier domestic T20 competition also grabbed the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had recently referred to the teenager’s inclusion in the IPL in one of his speeches and stated that cricket can be a medium to connect people across the borders.
“Today, we are connected by cricket as a Nepali boy is a part of Indian Premier League,” Modi said during his speech in Katmandu on Saturday. “This connection with cricket will strengthen our people to people ties & I hope there are more sports through which we can connect,” Modi added.
My little buddy @IamSandeep25 gets his first opportunity in the IPL. What an amazing story 🏏
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) 12 May 2018
A couple of months ago Lamichhane’s heroics with the ball also helped Nepal gained one-day international status at the World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe. It was his performance in the African country that grabbed the attention of scouts across the world. This is not the first time that Lamichchane is playing in a T20 league. He has previously been part of teams in the Carribean Premier League and the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
However, before the beginning of Delhi’s IPL campaign, Lamichhane had revealed as to how he was shocked by the call for trials. “When I was in Nepal, I was practicing one evening (around 6 pm) and I got a mail from DD CEO Hemant Dua. They called me for the trials and I was actually shocked. I didn’t expect it all,” he said in an interaction with reporters in Delhi on Saturday, “I was a bit excited and nervous as well. I was expecting trials to happen at Feroz Shah Kotla but due to rains, it happened indoors. I bowled a few deliveries, good and line length. It was good,” Lamichhane had told the Indian Express.
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