Sandeep Lamichhane

Sandeep Lamichhane

Player Bio

In the world of cricket, few stories are as captivating as that of Sandeep Lamichhane, the prodigious Nepali leg-spinner. Born on August 2, 2000 in Syangja, Sandeep's journey from Nepal's foothills to international cricket stadiums is a fairy tale.With a bowling style that features the legbreak googly, he has become a beacon of hope and inspiration for countless aspiring cricketers in Nepal and beyond. His rise in the cricketing world has not only brought him personal acclaim but has also shone a spotlight on Nepal's cricketing potential.

Early Life and Entry into Cricket

Sandeep's tryst with cricket began in an unexpected manner. While travelling to a wedding from Kathmandu, Nepal coach Pubudu Dassanayake discovered 14-year-old Sandeep during a pit stop in the remote Chitwan Province. Recognising the young lad's potential, Dassanayake ensured that Sandeep's talent did not go unnoticed. This serendipitous discovery marked the beginning of Sandeep's illustrious journey in the world of cricket.

By November 2015, at the tender age of 15, Sandeep made his unofficial senior team debut against a touring MCC squad. His performance was noteworthy, especially against Hong Kong wicketkeeper Scott McKechnie, who was playing for the MCC. McKechnie was dismissed twice by Lamichhane, which led him to recommend the young leg-spinner to play for Kowloon Cantons at the inaugural Hong Kong T20 Blitz in May 2016. This tournament proved pivotal for Sandeep as he crossed paths with former Australia captain Michael Clarke. Impressed by Sandeep's talent, Clarke extended an invitation for him to come to Sydney and play club cricket under his guidance.

Sandeep's international debut came during the 2016 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh. He emerged as Nepal's leading wicket-taker in the tournament, securing 14 wickets in six games. His performance included a remarkable five-wicket haul against Ireland. Shortly after, he made his senior-team debut against Namibia in the WCL Championship. Throughout the tournament, Sandeep showcased his impeccable accuracy, a trait rarely seen in young wrist spinners.

By the beginning of 2018, Sandeep had firmly established himself as a rising star within the Nepal cricket team. His prowess was further recognised when, at just 17, he became the first Nepali player to be picked in the IPL auction. Delhi Daredevils secured his services for INR 20 lakh (approximately USD 31,000). Sandeep did not disappoint, delivering a Player-of-the-Tournament performance at the 2018 WCL Division Two in Namibia. This achievement played a crucial role in propelling Nepal into the World Cup Qualifier for only the second time in their history.

Sandeep's journey, from the remote regions of Nepal to the grandeur of international cricket, is a testament to his talent, determination, and the belief that dreams, no matter how distant, can be realised with hard work and perseverance.

Rise in the International Arena

Sandeep Lamichhane's ascent in the international cricketing arena has been nothing short of meteoric. He started his journey when he was selected to play for Nepal in the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two. In the opening match against Namibia, he showcased his prowess by taking 4 wickets for just 18 runs in 8.2 overs. His crucial performance led Nepal to victory, winning by just one wicket.

In subsequent matches, Sandeep continued to impress. He played a crucial role in limiting UAE to a meager 114 by taking 3 wickets for 30 runs. His crowning achievement came in a match against Kenya, where he secured his first five-wicket haul in List A cricket, finishing with figures of 5/20. With a staggering 17 wickets in just six matches, he emerged as the undisputed winner of the ICC World Cricket League Division Two Player of the Tournament.

Sandeep was selected as one of ten players to keep an eye on in the lead-up to the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The International Cricket Council singled him up as the tournament's most promising player for Nepal. When the ICC selected him to play for the Rest of the World XI in the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge against the West Indies at the historic Lord's Cricket Ground, he made another major step forward in his international career. His first Twenty20 International was today.

 Sandeep and Nepal both had pivotal moments in July of 2018. He will be playing for Nepal in their One-Day International series against the Netherlands. 

 These matches were historic as they were Nepal's first ODI fixtures after they achieved ODI status. The ICC, recognising his potential impact, named him as the key player for Nepal. Sandeep made his ODI debut for Nepal on 1 August 2018 against the Netherlands.

Notable Performances and Achievements

Sandeep's achievements are not limited to the international stage. He has also made significant strides in franchise cricket. He was the first Nepali cricketer to be auctioned in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2018 and was subsequently bought by the Delhi Daredevils. His inclusion in the IPL was seen as a testament to the growing relationship between India and Nepal. Sandeep made his IPL debut in May 2018, taking a wicket for 25 runs against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the tournament, he secured five wickets in three matches, finishing with a commendable bowling average of 16.40.

He became the first Nepalese player to participate in the 2018 Caribbean Premier League when he was selected for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, recognizing his ability in the T20 format.Sandeep's journey in franchise cricket took him to various leagues around the world, including the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia, where he became the first Nepali cricketer to play.

One of Sandeep's most notable achievements came in February 2020 during a match against the United States in the 2020 Nepal Tri-Nation Series. He took a career-best figure of 6/16, restricting the USA to a joint lowest ever total in ODI history of 35 runs. Later, in February 2020, during a match against Malaysia in the 2020 Asia Cup Qualifier, Sandeep achieved another milestone by becoming the first bowler for Nepal to take 100 wickets in Twenty20 cricket.

In recognition of his outstanding performances, Sandeep was awarded the ICC Player of the Month in October 2021. By April 2023, he had further solidified his reputation as a premier bowler by becoming the fastest to complete 100 wickets in terms of matches, achieving the feat in just 42 games.

Sandeep's journey, filled with remarkable achievements and performances, is a testament to his dedication, skill, and the immense potential of Nepali cricket on the global stage.

Sandeep's Stint in T20 Leagues

Sandeep Lamichhane's journey in the world of T20 franchise cricket is as illustrious as his international career. His talent and unique bowling style made him a sought-after player in various T20 leagues around the globe.

Starting with the Indian Premier League (IPL), Sandeep made history by becoming the first Nepali cricketer to be auctioned and subsequently bought by the Delhi Daredevils in 2018. His debut in the IPL was marked by a commendable performance against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he took a wicket for just 25 runs. Throughout the tournament, he showcased his skills, taking five wickets in three matches.

His success in the IPL opened doors to other prestigious T20 leagues. In the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Sandeep was drafted to play for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in 2018, marking another milestone as the first Nepali player in the CPL. His journey in the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia was equally noteworthy. Sandeep became the first Nepali cricketer to play in the BBL, further establishing his reputation on the global stage.

Sandeep's versatility was on display in other leagues as well, such as the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the Global T20 Canada tournament, and the Afghanistan Premier League. His performances consistently highlighted his ability to adapt and excel in different conditions against top-tier batsmen.

Unique Aspects of His Bowling Style

Sandeep Lamichhane's bowling style is a blend of traditional leg-spin and modern adaptability. His primary weapon is the legbreak googly, a delivery that has bamboozled many accomplished batsmen. What sets Sandeep apart is his ability to bowl this delivery with a high degree of accuracy, a trait rarely seen in young wrist spinners.

His action is smooth, with a high-arm release that gives him the advantage of extracting bounce from the pitch. Sandeep's variations are subtle, making it challenging for batsmen to pick him from the hand. His googlies and flippers are especially deceptive, often catching batsmen off guard.

Another unique aspect of Sandeep's bowling is his adaptability. Whether it's the flat tracks of the subcontinent or the bouncy pitches of Australia, Sandeep has showcased the ability to adjust his lengths and pace according to the conditions. This adaptability, combined with his array of deliveries, makes him a formidable opponent in the T20 format.

Current Status and Future Prospects

Sandeep Lamichhane has firmly established himself as one of the premier leg-spinners in the world of cricket. His journey, from the remote regions of Nepal to the grandeur of international cricket and T20 leagues, is a testament to his talent, determination, and hard work.

His recent performances indicate a bright future ahead. With numerous accolades under his belt and a growing reputation in international and franchise cricket, Sandeep is poised to reach even greater heights. His role as a leading wicket-taker for Nepal in both ODIs and T20Is showcases his importance to the national team.

However, like all sports personalities, Sandeep's journey has not been without challenges. Recent off-field controversies have cast a shadow over his illustrious career. It remains to be seen how these events will shape his future, both on and off the field.

Nevertheless, Sandeep's talent is undeniable. As he continues to evolve and mature as a cricketer, fans and experts alike will be keenly watching his trajectory. The cricketing world can expect many more match-winning performances from this Nepali prodigy in the years to come.

Sandeep Lamichhane's journey from the serene landscapes of Nepal to the bustling stadiums of international cricket is a tale of talent, perseverance, and determination. His rise in the cricketing world has not only brought him personal acclaim but has also highlighted the potential of Nepali cricket on the global stage. As Sandeep continues to weave his magic with the ball, he remains a beacon of hope and inspiration for countless aspiring cricketers, not just in Nepal but across the world. His story is a testament to the fact that with hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck, dreams can indeed become reality.

Where was Sandeep Lamichhane born?
Sandeep was born in Syangja, Nepal.
Which T20 leagues has Sandeep played in?
Sandeep has played in various T20 leagues, including the IPL, CPL, BBL, PSL, Global T20 Canada, and the Afghanistan Premier League.
What is Sandeep's primary bowling style?
Sandeep is a leg-spinner, known for his legbreak googly.
When did Sandeep make his IPL debut?
Sandeep made his IPL debut in May 2018 for the Delhi Daredevils.
Has Sandeep achieved any records in international cricket?
Yes, by April 2023, Sandeep became the fastest to complete 100 wickets in terms of matches, achieving the feat in just 42 games.