Many of us are unaware that for the first time any Nepal star will be taking part in the eleventh edition of the cash-rich Indian league; know as Indian Premier League (IPL). Delhi Daredevils contracted Sandeep Lamichhane, the latest spin bowling sensation in the Associated world, and now the first ever Nepal player to take part in this edition of IPL. He received a whopping INR 20 lakh ($31000) bid from Delhi Daredevils. He is one of the highlights of the auction conducted in this year IPL.
Young Nepal leg spinning sensation- Sandeep Lamichhane was handed the Delhi Daredevils jersey by the Nepal Sports (NSC) Member Secretary Keshav Kumar Bista on Thursday (22 March). Mr. Bista handed the No. 1 jersey to the youngster in the presence of a representative of DD during Jersey unveiling program organized at Hotel Annapurna in Kathmandu.
As per ANI, Lamichhane said of picking the number on his jersey, “I can not take the number 25 from my seniors, as the birth date of my deceased Nephew falls on January, i.e 1, so I took the number for the jersey and we always want to be number one for which I took the number.”
Lamichhane, who has been linked to spin legend Shane Warne, added, “If you get the chance to play in the IPL, lots of players will be there who are very experienced and I think I will learn a lot.”
Why is his selection significant? He is making headline because he is first-ever Nepal player playing in IPL. As we know Nepal doesn’t hold ODI or T20I status, Lamichhane’s selection represents proof that there is a desire to reward highly skilled talents regardless of their background. Associate players as a whole gained more respect and recognition in the past edition of the IPL and example for the same is success enjoyed by Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), they have also gained appreciation in other leagues like CPL and Big Bash League.
One of the reasons for selection and fame is also the bond with Clarke that he shared in Hong Kong T20 Blitz. Lamichhane has trained with stars like of Shahid Afridi and Michael Clarke, both of whom were his team-mates at Kowloon Cantons in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz. Despite only bowling three overs in a rain-affected tournament in 2016, it was enough to catch Clarke’s attention and he subsequently received an invite to train under Clarke with Western Suburbs in the Sydney grade competition. And I think it is the main reason that influenced Daredevils coach Ricky Ponting into taking a punt on Lamichhane.
Despite being only 17, Lamichhane already has a wealth of experience in various competitions under his belt.
There was one more instance in previous year auction “Chirag Suri”, a 21-year-old UAE batsman who was a surprise pick last year by Gujarat Lions but never took the field and did not come back for bidding in the 2018 auction.
However, a season riding the bench for the Daredevils, the history can repeat itself. But in my opinion, with to much headline already captured by this young player he will surely be given chance to take field in this year IPL by the captain of DD Gautam Gambhir, as we have seen in past decades with Kolkata knight riders (KKR) he believes in giving chance to young talent and see potential in them, also at same time if DD perform excellently in this year IPL they will surely keen to test their bench strength.
What are his strengths?
Lamichhane took 12 wickets in nine matches for Nepal during the WCL Championship. He also took nine wickets in seven matches last month in Nepal’s franchise T20 competition, the Everest Premier League.
He first gained attention at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup by taking a hat-trick during his 5 for 27 to set up an eight-wicket thumping of Ireland. In the knockout stages, he outshined Shadab Khan in a three-wicket performance against Pakistan and finished with 14 wickets in six matches, second-most in the tournament.
Three months later, he played in his first overseas T20 competition when he was drafted into the Kowloon Cantons squad for the inaugural Hong Kong Blitz. It was there that he made the crucial Clarke connection to chart a course towards the IPL.