Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal’s teen leg-spin sensation, is just two days away from making his debut in Australia’s T20 league -Big Bash League (BBL) 2018-19, starting from December 19.
He just wants to give his best in the tournament to instill the confidence in the youngsters from his homeland -the rapidly-growing cricketing nation so that they could give up of their hopes of playing cricket at to level.
The 18-year-old is all set to create history on Friday (December 21) when he will make his KFC BBL debut for Melbourne Stars against Sydney Thunder in Canberra and become the first player from Nepal to play in the BBL.
Lamichhane is just 18 years old but has continued paving a path forward for Nepalese cricket, having featured in premium T20 leagues across the globe, including India, Canada, West Indies, and the UAE, as well as, rubbed the shoulders with and against some of the best of the game.
He has shared a dressing room with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Glenn Maxwell, Sunil Narine, and Chris Gayle and even taken the wickets of David Warner, Chris Lynn, and Kieron Pollard in his tiny T20 career.
Ahead of his BBL debut, Lamichhane told cricket.com.au on Monday, “It always means we're carrying the whole nation on our shoulders. "If I perform well, it'll be good for Nepal cricket as well as me.”
The leg-spinner continued, “For the youngsters (at home), it'll be a good lesson for them to not give up and that their time will come. Now everyone at home is realizing that you can get something good out of the sport. I want to stay on this train so that everyone can enjoy the sport and enjoy their life.”
Meanwhile, Lamichhane received a warm reception at Melbourne's Nepal Festival on Saturday (December 15), while around 60,000 strong Nepalese community -one of the fastest-growing migrant populations in Australia, will be there to cheer for the Melbourne Stars, as their cricketing hero is Down Under in the upcoming BBL.
The youngster further added, “They were all very happy and excited about the BBL this year. They were all saying they're really keen to come to the MCG and cheer for the Melbourne Stars.”
Lamichhane signed off by saying, “Everybody recognized me and were giving their love and blessing. Whenever there's a game in Nepal, you'll get 15 or 20 thousand people there every time. I would love to see people come down in large numbers and cheer on our team and chant for us.”
(With Cricket Australia Network Inputs)