Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane, 16, has received an invitation from former Australia captain Michael Clarke to represent the Sydney-based club Western Suburbs. In addition, Lamichhane will also train at Clarke's cricket academy in Sydney during the course of his season-long stay in Australia.
A press release from Western Suburbs, that was later tweeted by Lamichhane, stated that Clarke "had recognised Sandeep's outstanding potential" during his short stint as a player and mentor in Hong Kong earlier this year. Apart from conducting a coaching camp with the Hong Kong men's and women's teams, Clarke also featured in the country's inaugural T20 tournament for a Kowloon Cantons side that also included Lamichhane.
"Sandeep is a fantastic young man who enjoys his cricket and is extremely passionate about the game," Clarke was quoted as saying in the release. "It is a really exciting opportunity to have such a talented Nepalese cricketer travel this distance to come and test his skills and improve his game at my academy. I am looking forward to working with him and all the boys and girls that will attend the 5-day live in camp starting September 26th.
"Sandeep will fit in well at my club, Wests have always gone out of their way to look after the younger players and he will be a great asset to the club this summer."
The club stated that the Nepalese community in the Western Suburbs area will assist Lamichhane in settling into Sydney, and he will stay with a local family.
Lamichhane was the second-highest wicket-taker at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year, with 14 wickets and a best of 5 for 27 against Ireland. His performance also earned him praise from former Australia legspinner Shane Warne.
Clarke and Lamichhane will both feature in Western Suburbs' first match of the season against Mosman on September 24 in Sydney.