Sandeep Lamichhane and his cricketing journey is certainly still a better love story than Twilight. Let’s meet the leg-spinner from Nepal who is now a known name across cricket fans globally.
The Story of Sandeep Lamichhane’s Life
He was born on the 2nd of August during the millennium year in Syangja, which is about 60 km south of Nepal’s second biggest city- Pokhara. The place boasts of a lot of tourists owing to the fact that it plays home to one of the most populated wildlife parks in the country. Who knew that in the midst of all the wildlife, there was also a leg-spinner who wanted to turn it around for his country.
When Sandeep Lamichhane Shifted to India
Yes, you read that right. When he was just 7 years old he had to move to Haryana with his family due to his father’s job. He was in Haryana ( North India) for around 5 years before the entire family decided to make the move back home.
Sandeep Lamichhane: Chitwan Cricket Academy
He was around 11-12 when he returned to his home turf. Till then, as had just played plastic ball cricket to start with and then a lot of tennis ball cricket. It was enough to make him fall in love with the game and for others around him to realise what a special talent he was. His parents immediately enrolled him to the Chitwan Cricket Acamdey in Bharatpur where he finally received training under the watchful eyes of his coach, Raju Tadka.
How Did They Find Sandeep Lamichhane?
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity and something similar happened in the case of Lamichhane. It was the wedding of another spinner from Nepal, Basant Regmi for which he had invited the then Nepal, Head-Coach, Pubudu Dassanayake. The coach decided to do a pit stop at Chitwan just to see how the young cricketers are coming up. As soon as he saw Sandeep, he knew he had found gold and the rest they say is history!
Sandeep Lamichhane: Under 19 World Cup
While many might not even know that Nepal was a part of the Under-19 World Cup in 2016, Lamichhane made sure that everyone would now begin to take them seriously. The leg-spinner finished as the second highest wicket-taker of the tournament as he became the owner of 14 wickets in just 6 matches. During the process, Sandeep Lamichhane also became the 5th bowler to take a hat-trick in the tournament when he literally bamboozled the Irish batting lineup.
Heart-Break For Sandeep Lamichhane
In 2014, he wasn’t selected for the ACC Cup as he did not have a password. The fact that he did not come up the ranks through regional tournaments did not help his case either. For a brief period, Lamichhane also might have believed that his journey was over but it wasn’t to be!
Sandeep Lamichhane: Hongkong T20 Blitz
After making his list- A debut for Nepal against Namibia in 2016, Lamichhane was immediately invited to apply his trade for the Kowloon Cantons which was captained by the former Australian Captain, Micheal Clarke. Upon reaching there, he was surprised that Clarke had even heard about him in the first place.
Even though his team could play only a single game in the tournament due to poor weather conditions, Sandeep did not fail to impress Clarke who invited him to play in Australia.
Sandeep Lamichhane: Western Suburbs
Lamichhane was now all set to travel to Australia and play with the big boys. Upon his arrival, Clarke, just like an elder brother, made sure to take good care of him. In fact, he even came to pick him up from the airport. Not surprisingly, he continued to impress in Australia and was steadily climbing the ladder.
Sandeep Lamichhane: Nepal Cricketer
In 2018, Sandeep helped the Nepal Cricket Team to earn them a spot in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers for the second time in the history of the tournament.
Sandeep Lamichhane: Indian Premier League
In the year 2018, Lamichhane life completely changed as he was about to play in one one of the biggest cricket leagues ever. Lamichhane was about to run shoulders with the likes of Gautam Gambhir and also get an opportunity to test himself by bowling to guys like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. He got a contract of a whopping Rs 20 Lakhs with the Delhi Daredevils. This was the kind of ‘Stuff’ dreams were usually made off but soon his dreams became a reality.
That was also the time when he called his parents after a long time owing to the fact that he was always on the move trying to grind it out. As he once mentioned, he could never forget that day and nobody in Nepal will ever either!
The young Sandeep Lamichhane impressed one and many in the limited opportunities he got during the season. He played 5 matches for his franchise and picked up 5 wickets at an economy of just 6.83. By doing so, he also became the first ever cricketer from Nepal to play in the Indian Premier League.
Sandeep Lamichhane: Nepal’s First Ever ODI Match
Lamichhane would always be remembered as he was a part of the playing XI when Nepal played their debut ODI on the 1st of August against the Netherlands. Unfortunately, his side managed to open their account during their first outing but thanks to Sandeep’s 3 wickets in the second, they registered a nail-biting 1 run victory against the men in orange.
Sandeep Lamichhane: Favourite Indian Batsman
Living in India for 5 years, Lamichhane literally grew up with people talking about Sachin Tendulkar all the time. He was all around him and just like everyone in India, he had no reason to complain either. To say the least- He absolutely adored the Little- Master!
Sandeep Lamichhane: Idol
Lamichhane has always looked up to the best leg-spinner the world has ever seen- Shane Warne. He always wanted to become like Warne but he would be the first one to admit, that his journey has just begun. It wasn’t easy though, maybe even harder than the man himself considering he did not have proper training facilities but to be like Warne, he would need to stay away from Poker until he becomes like him.
To do that, he would need to continue to show the same kind of character for the next 15 years and if he does manage to do that, it would be a cricketing journey right up there for the producers and directors to make a biopic on. More importantly, for cricket fans globally to just sit back through the ride, and enjoy him take all those wickets. We wish more ‘Power’ to Sandeep Lamichhane and hope to see more of him in the near future.