Delhi Daredevils pick Sandeep Lamichhane in Indian Premier League squad

  • The 17-year-old leggie becomes first Nepali cricketer to play in India’s premier T20 league
  • Auctioned for INR 20 lakh

I’ll try my best to do well which could open the gates for other players in future - Sandeep Lamichhane

Kathmandu, January 28

Sandeep Lamichhane became the first Nepali cricketer to feature in Indian Premier League after Delhi Daredevils picked the leg-spinner in the IPL auction in Bengaluru today.

Delhi Daredevils proposed Lamichhane’s name in the auction and as no other team showed interest in buying the leggie — who has been compared to Australian great Shane Warne — he was sold to the club for the base amount of two million Indian rupees.

Delhi Daredevils confirmed the news through Twitter. “The first Nepali player in the history of the Vivo IPL! It gives us great pleasure to welcome the 17-year-old leg-spinner @IamSandeep25 into the #DDSquad!” The club later posted another Tweet: “17-year-old sensation with a knack for picking up wickets, @IamSandeep25 will be vying to do his country proud come the Vivo IPL season!” Lamichhane replied saying: “Journey begins now.”

Lamichhane, who is currently in Dubai with the national team to prepare for the ICC World Cricket League Division-II to be held in Namibia next month, was over the moon after being picked up in the IPL. “I am happy that I could take my country’s name to the next level. This is the result of my dedication and hard work and I am hoping for the best to do well,”  Lamichhane told THT.

“I’ll try my best to do well which could open the gates for other players in future,” he added.

Lamichhane wrote on twitter: “Very happy to be announced as the player of @DelhiDaredevils for this season of @IPL! Special thanks to all those people who kept me in their prayers withholding their nerves! Journey begins now!!”

On January 20, Lamichhane had made it to the final auction pool of 581 players from among the 1,122 cricketers who had registered for the money-spinning tournament.

Born at Aruchaur Talpokhari of Syangja district, Lamichhane stayed in India with his father Chandra Narayan Lamichhane — who works for Indian Railways — and studied there until fourth grade. He then went to Chitwan Cricket Academy where former national team skipper Raju Khadka identified his talent and groomed him.

The then Canadian coach Pubudu Dassanayake was impressed with Lamichhane’s bowling and picked him for the youth team camp at the age of 14. Lamichhane made it to the ICC U-19 World Cup squad in 2016 and came into limelight when he bagged five wickets, including a hat-trick against Ireland. He also got an opportunity to train at Michael Clarke Academy run by the former Australian skipper.

Khadka said he was more than happy with the news. “I felt like I have rediscovered myself today,” Khadka told THT. “This is awesome and good for Lamichhane and Nepali cricket as a whole. I knew from the very beginning that he would make it big one day,” added Khadka.

Aussie skipper Clarke tweeted: “To the people of Nepal, you should be very proud of @IamSandeep25, he is little champion who wants to do his country proud. Cheer him on and enjoy the journey with him. God bless.”

National team skipper Paras Khadka wrote in his Facebook account: “Congratulations to all the Nepalese, the cricket players, the crazy fans and everyone associated with Nepal Cricket. ‪A very proud moment to be a Nepali cricket player today...‪Well done Sandeep Lamichhane.”

Former captain and U-19 team head coach Binod Das wrote: “Congratulations @IamSandeep25.. u have made us all proud. Thank u @DelhiDaredevils for the opportunity to this young kid from a tour cricketing nation. #supportdelhidaredevils #ipl2018.”