One of the most anticipated debuts took place in the Indian Premier League last night when young Nepal wrist-spinner Sandeep Lamicchane played for Delhi Daredevils against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Delhi is in a position where they can't make it to the playoffs and hence, giving away games to their bench strength is something you expect.
Sandeep got the opportunity to bowl against the likes and prowess of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. He talked about this experience in a press conference last night and said, “We had a meeting yesterday and I got to know that I will be playing,” said Lamichhane after the game. “It was the decision of the captain and the coach. It has been wonderful, I played well today.”
Sandeep, in fact, opened the bowling when asked by the captain Shreyas Iyer in their defence of 181. He talked about this by stating, “To be honest, I have never opened the bowling before, this was the first time. I have never done it international cricket as well. I was very excited about it. If you get a chance to play against a good team like RCB against good batsmen, I was really excited. I worked hard yesterday with the new ball as well.”
This challenge became more enormous when Virat Kohli sent, two left-handers, Parthiv Patel and Moeen Ali to open the innings. Sandeep excelled at this by removing Parthiv Patel.
He talked about this by saying, “Being a legspinner, if you are bowling against two left-handed batsmen they are going to charge at you, I was just making sure that I bowl in good areas, good line and length and there were some good balls in the very first over. I bowled a few googlies. It went good and was a very good debut for me.”
Sandeep hasn't played a lot for Delhi, he has two more games after this in the season. He talked about the overall learning that he has received by stating, “It has been very good, these one and a half months here,"
“The most important thing is how you are learning all the time. I have learnt a lot of things. We have got an exceptional coach and a good captain. All the players are very good. I have been very lucky so far. These moments never come very easily. I think I still have a long way to go and I have to do a lot of hard work.”
It was Michael Clarke who spotted him first and gave Sandeep the opportunity to play club cricket in Sydney, which has helped him immensely. He talked about this great honour by saying, “We are so close. We spoke to each other and he said I have done a great job today. I am upset because the most important thing is the team’s win. If your team is not winning then you must be upset.”
Talking about how a league like IPL helps youngsters like him and how the atmosphere is while working with Delhi Daredevils, Sandeep said, “These kinds of leagues (IPL) can help you grow your game,.You have to stay busy with cricket. I am playing for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (in the Caribbean Premier League). There is a lot of talent in Nepal. I think the journey has been started. There will be a lot of opportunities for the players in Nepal.”
“They all are fantastic guys It’s always easy to get in touch with your age group guys like Prithvi (Shaw), Manjot (Kalra), Rishabh (Pant), Abhishek (Sharma) and the others, they are of my age group. It’s always easy when you are interacting with them because I know them for the last two years. It was great to see Abhishek, the way he was hitting (the ball) and enjoying himself.”