Sandeep Lamichhane is more than likely to get more chances in the Indian Premier League this year. The Delhi Capitals had bought him last year as a spin prodigy but did not show much faith in him. But while Lamichhane did not start the tournament, he did get the chances at the fag end of the competition. He picked up 5 wickets in three matches which was more than enough for the franchise to retain him for this season.
Since then Lamichhane has gone from strength to strength. In the last one year or so, the 18-year old has become a household T20 name, having played in leagues across India, Pakistan, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the UAE and the West Indies. He is coming in the Indian Premier League on the back of a very impressive stint in the Pakistan Super League.
In his very first game in the PSL, the leg-spinner took three wickets, and later on he also achieved his career-best 4 for 10 in the tournament. Lamichhane, who was playing for Lahore Qalandars, eventually finished the season with 11 wickets. Perhaps his form in the last one year convinced the Delhi franchise to sell the ever-reliable Shahbaz Nadeem and retain just one senior spinner in the form of Amit Mishra. Rahul Tewatia is also in the team but it is more than likely that the team-management will prefer Lamichhane over him. And the Nepal star is looking forward to gain more experience by playing in the league.
“It is sometimes a struggle to not be playing competitive international cricket or not playing at all when I go back home. But whenever I get the opportunity to play in such leagues, I like to keep things simple and I know that I have to work hard because I don’t get these facilities in Nepal. So whenever I have the chance to play here in IPL and in other leagues, I only focus on performing to the best of my abilities,” Sandeep Lamichhane said.
He further said that he idolises Shane Warne, the most decorated leg-spinner in the history of the game.
“I have always admired and idolised Shane Warne the most, and fortunately for me, IPL has given me the chance to meet him. I met him last season where he gave me certain tips to improve my bowling, which also gave me a huge boost in my career. However, I believe, the most important advice that he gave me was to make sure that I bowl with a big and brave heart,” Lamichhane said.
The spin-sensation also stated how special the last IPL was for him as he became the first player from Nepal to play in the lucrative league.
“Last year was a very special year for me as I got the chance to play in the biggest cricket league in the world. IPL 2018 will always be a special memory for me in my career, and I believe that it is the perfect platform for players like me who come from the non-Test playing nations,” said Lamichhane.
Delhi Capitals will kickstart their campaign against Mumbai Indians on March 24.