August 02, 2000, Syangja
Right hand bat
Discovered as a 14-year-old by then Nepal coach Pubudu Dassanayake during a pit stop in the remote Chitwan Province on the way from Kathmandu to left-arm spinner Basant Regmi's wedding, Sandeep Lamichhane has continued to make the most of good fortune at every opportunity to come his way.
Serendipitous Sandy made his unofficial senior team debut as a 15-year-old in November 2015 against a touring MCC squad. Hong Kong wicketkeeper Scott McKechnie, playing for the MCC, was dismissed twice by Lamichhane, prompting him to recruit the young legspinner to play for Kowloon Cantons at the inaugural Hong Kong T20 Blitz in May 2016. It was there that Lamichhane crossed paths with former Australia captain Michael Clarke, who observed enough of Lamichhane's talent to extend an invite to come to Sydney for the following Australian summer playing club cricket under Clarke's watchful eye.
Lamichhane's first foray on the international stage came at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh where he was Nepal's leading wicket-taker with 14 in six games including a five-for against Ireland. Not long after, he made his senior-team debut against Namibia in the WCL Championship and was a regular throughout the rest of the tournament, proving himself a major asset as a result of his impressive accuracy for a young wristspinner.
By January 2018, Lamichhane had cemented his status as a rising star within the Nepal set-up. But his fame grew exponentially when, at age 17, he became the first player from his country snapped up at the IPL auction, fetching a bid of INR 20 lakh (USD 31,000 approx) from Delhi Daredevils. He justified that hoopla the following month with 17 wickets in a Player-of-the-Tournament performance at 2018 WCL Division Two in Namibia, propelling Nepal into the World Cup Qualifier for only the second time ever.
In March 2018, he became the first Nepal player to be drafted in the CPL as well, taken in round 13 by St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, adding to the list of history-making accomplishments on his growing resume. Still just a teenager, Lamichhane may have plenty more pages yet to be written.
Peter Della Penna
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