Sandeep Lamichhane © DD Press
Sandeep Lamichhane © DD Press

In Match 45 of VIVO IPL 2018 between Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Sandeep Lamichhane became the first Nepal cricketer to make debut for DD. He was bought at his base price INR 20 lakhs in the auction earlier this year. RCB and DD are currently languishing at the two bottom spots of the table. Delhi will bank on Lamichhane (and his co-IPL debutant Junior Dala) to help things turn around for them.

Lamichhane has been hogging the limelight since the World Cricket League Division Two. Along with Nepal captain Paras Khadka, Lamichhane played a major role in Nepal winning the tournament. He ended as the leading wicket-taker scalping 17 from 6 matches at 10.35. He emulated the success in World Cup Qualifiers 2018, with 13 wickets from 6 matches at 18.23. Rashid Khan became a must-pick in all T20 leagues after 2017 IPL; an impressive debut may help Lamichhane achieve the same. In fact, Lamichhane also has CPL in the pipeline.

Lamichhane is excited to be part of DD: “We were nowhere in cricket in the last two years. After getting ODI status recently we are getting lots of opportunities. I think [the IPL] is a great opportunity for me and it will help grow our cricket back home. We want to remain… an ODI nation and we want to play Test cricket as well.”

Lamichhane has also expressed his ecstasy at sharing the dressing-room and being guided by some of the very best, especially Ricky Ponting: “He is a fantastic player from his era to now and it’s a precious moment to share a dressing room with him.”