2018 is turning out to be a good year for Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal cricket team and of course, the fans.
Nepal cricket team secured one-day international status this year in March. Earlier – in January – Lamichhane became the first ever Nepal cricketer to get an Indian Premiere League (IPL) contract; then making his debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore last week. And now, he has been added to the ICC World XI squad that will be playing against West Indies on May 31.
International Cricket Council (ICC) broke the news earlier today (May 16) on its website. “Nepal wrist-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, one of the brightest young cricketers on the circuit, has been added to the ICC World XI squad for the 31 May T20I against the Windies. The match will be played at Lord’s and all the proceeds will be used to redevelop the stadia in the Caribbean, which were damaged due to hurricanes last year,” reported ICC.
What a moment for the 17-year-old!
— ICC (@ICC) 2018년 5월 16일
The 17-year-old cricketing star will join the line-up that will be led by captain Eoin Morgan (England) and comprising of Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), Dinesh Karthik (India), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Mitchell McClenaghan (New Zealand), Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Hardik Pandya (India), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka) and Luke Ronchi (New Zealand). West Indies – the champions of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2016 – on the other hand, will have Sameul Badree, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels and Andre Russel among others playing for the side.
This will be Lamichhane’s second time playing at Lord’s in England. He was part of Nepal national team that played against the home team Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in July 2016. He had figures of one for 25 as Nepal defended 217, bowling out the hosts for 176 in 47.2 overs.
“I am privileged to have been chosen to be part of the ICC World XI against the Windies. It is an honour for the entire country and passionate followers of Nepal cricket, as well as an indicator that we are making our mark on the international game. Training, sharing the dressing room and playing with some of the trend-setters who we saw on television while growing up is something I look forward to. This is an opportunity for me to learn and improve, and I am committed to cashing in on this,” ICC quoted Lamichhane as saying on Wednesday.
“What can I say about Lord’s, it’s the Home of Cricket, it’s a complete history of cricket and a dream venue for any cricketer. To play there in 2016 was a memorable occasion, which I look forward to reliving later this month. I hope I will continue to get opportunities in future which, in turn, will help me improve my skills as well as my country to strengthen its position on the world cricket map.”
Lamichhane had first represented Nepal in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 in which he took 16 wickets. Later that year, former Australia captain Michael Clarke spotted him at the Hong Kong T20 Blitz and offered him to train at Clarke’s cricket academy in Sydney. And well, the rest is history!