After becoming the first ever Nepal cricketer to secure an IPL contract, leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has credited former Australia skipper Michael Clarke for helping him in every possible way to improve as a cricketer. The 17-year-old Lamichhane was roped in by the IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils for INR 20 lakhs during the recently help IPL auction.
“Michael Clarke has had the biggest influence on me as a cricketer. From the time, he saw me bowling at the Hong Kong Sixes, he kept an eye on me. He is a kind man, a humble soul, who has helped me grow as a cricketer and a person,” Lamichhane was quoted by PTI as saying.
“Speaking to him helped me relax. It was a lifetime experience to have played under him for Western Suburbs Cricket Club in Sydney grade league. That has been a huge gain for a young player like me,” he further added.
Clarke though was quite modest while reacting to Lamichhane’s kind words for him. The World Cup winning Australian captain took to his official Twitter account and wrote: “I did nothing mate apart from smile every time I watched him bowl.”
I did nothing mate apart from smile every time I watched him bowl. https://t.co/L2jMX88hzM— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) January 28, 2018
When asked about his strength, Lamichhane revealed that leg-break is his stock delivery but he has worked on his googly now and is confident of executing it to perfection.
“I always had a good leg-break but I have now developed an effective googly working hard with my Nepal national team coach Raju Khadka,” the teenager asserted.
“So when Delhi Daredevils summoned me for trials I was fully confident that their coaches would be impressed with my skills. And in any case if you don’t have self-confidence, you can’t play the next level that is IPL,” he added.
Even though his home country is not famous for its history, Lamichhane expressed his gratitude for the Cricket Association of Nepal.
“Yes, it’s true that we only have one proper cricket stadium in Nepal but we have had the determination. I owe it to Nepal cricket as playing for my country got me the prominence. If I have got a contract with Delhi Daredevils, it is because of my performances for the national team,” Lamichhane said.
He concluded by disclosing his two cricketing idols while growing up.
“As a child, the two people whom I looked up to were Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. For me, they are the two greatest cricketers. I would never miss an opportunity to watch whenever they played. I would watch their recordings,” Lamichhane signed-off.
(With inputs from PTI)