The young Nepalese leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has made a lot of noise in the international cricket circuit from very early stage of his life. But currently due to his recent controversies, he is in more noise in Nepal and on the international level. So, it’s about time we looked at his journey from being an unknown boy from the streets of Nepal to who he is today?
Sandeep has been continously proving his talents at every opportunity he has got. That’s why the young leg-spinner has already made quite an impression in the world of cricket. But what happens in his life, that has put him in the judicial custody right from the post of captain of Nepal International Cricket Team. Here’s the biography of Sandeep Lamichhane, one of Nepal’s most promising cricketers and one with a huge amount of potential for the future of Nepali cricket.
Early And Personal Life
Sandeep was born on 2 August 2020 in Aruchaur of Syangja district and Gandaki Province. Born in a country when Cricket was gaining popularity in Nepal and in South-Asia, he was quite much interested in the game of Cricket from his childhood. During his childhood, he used to consider Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne as his Cricket idols.
After moving to Chitwan district of Nepal, he joined the Cricket Academy and started training there which was run by the former Nepali Cricketer Raju Khadka. It was the Cricket Academy where former coach of Nepal Cricket Team Pubudu Dasanayake discovered him in 2016 when he was only 14 years of age. After impressing him and the former captain and the legendary Cricketer Paras Khadka, he was selected for the national under-19 training camp.
This was just the begining of all the highs that he was going to achieve in the nearest future in his very early states of his life.
Early Career And Exposure
After being selected in the national under-19 training camp, Sandeep made his unofficial senior team debut as a 15-year-old in November 2015 against a touring MCC squad. Hong Kong wicketkeeper Scott McKechnie, playing for the MCC, was dismissed twice by Lamichhane, prompting him to recruit the young legspinner to play for Kowloon Cantons at the inaugural Hong Kong T20 Blitz in May 2016. It was there that Lamichhane crossed paths with former Australia captain Michael Clarke, who observed enough of Lamichhane’s talent to extend an invite to come to Sydney for the following Australian summer playing club cricket under Clarke’s watchful eye.
International Debut & Career
Sandeep international career also started very early only. He was only 16 years old when he was selected for Under-19 Nepal Cricket Team for 2016 Under-19 World Cricket. He finish the tournament as the Nepal’s leading wicket taker with 14 wickets in only 6 matches including a five-for against Ireland. It was still an impressive feat to make it into Nepal’s squad in the first place – especially considering that he is still yet to complete his schooling, and has been playing the game professionally since only 2018!
Sooner after this, he made his international debut in the 2018 ICC World Cricket Division League Two. In its first match against Namibia, he grabbed Man of the match award with the bowling figures of 4/18. He also shared a crucial final wicket partnership of 18 runs with Basanta Regmi to win the match by one wicket.
In the third match against the United Arab Emirates, he took 3/30 to help reduce the opponent to 114 runs. In the fourth match against Kenya, he took his first five wicket haul in List A cricket, with 5/20, and was again named the man of the match.
Lamichhane was awarded with ICC World Cricket League Division Two Player of the tournament award as a result of his economical bowling and took the most wickets in the tournament, taking 17 wickets in six matches.
In February 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named Lamichhane as one of the ten players to watch ahead of the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament. Following the conclusion of the tournament, the ICC went on to name Lamichhane as the rising star of Nepal’s squad. In May 2018, he was added to the ICC Rest of the World XI team, for the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge against the West Indies at Lord’s. He made his T20I debut in the match.
In July 2018, he was named in Nepal’s squad for their ODI series against the Netherlands. These were Nepal’s first ODI matches after gaining ODI status during the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. Ahead of the matches, the ICC named him as the key player for Nepal. He made his T20I debut for Nepal in July in the third match of the 2018 MCC Tri-Nation Series, against the Netherlands. He made his ODI debut for Nepal against the Netherlands on 1 August 2018.
In August 2018, he was named in Nepal’s squad for the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier tournament. In October 2018, he was named in Nepal’s squad in the Eastern sub-region group for the 2018–19 ICC World Twenty20 Asia Qualifier tournament. He was the leading wicket-taker during the tournament, with 24 dismissals in six matches.
In June 2019, he was named in Nepal’s squad for the Regional Finals of the 2018–19 ICC T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier tournament. He made his first-class debut on 6 November 2019, for Nepal against the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), during the MCC’s tour of Nepal. On 12 February 2020, in the match against the United States in the 2020 Nepal Tri-Nation Series, Lamichhane took his first five-wicket haul in an ODI match. His career best figures of 6/16 restricted USA to joint lowest ever total in ODI history for 35. On 29 February 2020, in the match against Malaysia in the Eastern Region group of the 2020 Asia Cup Qualifier, Lamichhane became the first bowler for Nepal to take 100 wickets in Twenty20 cricket. In September 2020, he was one of eighteen cricketers to be awarded with a central contract by the Cricket Association of Nepal.
On 11 October 2021, Lamichhane was named the ICC Player of the Month by the International Cricket Council. In December 2021, Lamichhane was announced as new captain of the Nepal national team by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) after Gyanendra Malla was sacked due to disciplinary issues, along with former vice-captain Dipendra Singh Airee.
Indian Premier League, popularly known as IPL is no dount the world’s biggest and most popular franchise based cricket league. IPL has played an important role in the career of Sandeep because it provides him larger exposure to the international level and helping him participating other franchise cricket tournaments in the world.
In January 2018, Sandeep was picked in the list of players for the auction for 2018 Indian Premier League. He was picked by the Delhi Daredevils, and became the first Nepalese cricketer to get a contract in the IPL.
In the same season of IPL, Sandeep made an IPL debut against Royal Challengers Banglore, and by taking one wicket and giving 25 runs in 4 overs spell. Though he didn’t play much matches in the IPL, it was IPL that has helped him play Cricket all over the world throughout the year.
T20 Franchise Cricket
After becoming the first Nepalese cricket to ever play IPL, his name begin to revolve around the Cricketing world. The same year when he was picked in the IPL, he was drafted to play for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the 2018 Caribbean Premier League, and became the first player from Nepal to be selected in the Caribbean Premier League.
In June 2018, Lamichane was selected to play for the Montreal Tigers in the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada tournament. In the tournament he took eight wickets in five matches at an average of 19.62. In September 2018, he was named in Nangarhar’s squad in the first edition of the Afghanistan Premier League tournament, going on to play in one match in the tournament.
In October 2018, he was signed by the Melbourne Stars for the Big Bash League (BBL), becoming the first cricketer from Nepal to play in the BBL. Later the same month, he was named in the squad for Sylhet Sixers, following the draft for the 2018–19 Bangladesh Premier League. In November 2018, Lamichhane was named in Lahore Qalandars’s squad in the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League. In March 2019, he was named as one of eight players to watch by the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of the 2019 Indian Premier League tournament. The following month, Lamichhane said he recognised the huge learning curve of playing in the IPL and that it had “changed his life”.
The complete international statistics of Sandeep Lamichhane:
|5-Wickets In An Inning||2||1||3||1|
|Best Bowling Figures||6/11||5/9||6/11||5/9|
Likewise, he taste the massive success in the very early stage of his life, he also fall into one of the biggest controversies of Nepal in the very early stage of his life. On 6 September 2022, a 17 year-old girl filed a police complaint against Sandeep Lamichhane, accussing him of raping her on the night of August 21 in a hotel room of Kathmandu. So, after the confirmation by police that Sandeep was staying with the girl, on 8 September, Kathmandu District Court authorised the arrest of Sandeep for the further investigation.
During when the arrest warrant was issued against him, he was due to take part in the 2022 Caribbean Premier League representing Jamaica Tallawahs. Soon after the news broke out regarding his rape allegations, he pulled out of Caribbean Premier League but denied any wrongdoing. Consequently, Nepal’s cricket governing body, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) suspended Lamichhane from the national team. Police in Nepal issued a diffusion notice through Interpol against Lamichhane. As a result of the notice, Lamichhane was added to the Interpol police fugitive list. Lamichhane turned himself in to Nepal police on 6 October 2022 and was taken to the Gaushala, Kathmandu jail.
Born in a small village of Syangja district of Nepal, Sandeep Lamichhane started playing for nation and worldwide in the very early stage of his life. He has got success that no other Nepali cricketer have got. From making and breaking several cricket records to being globally recognized in the cricketing world, Sandeep has been the best Nepali leg-spinner Cricketer. But despite of having such a great cricketing career ahead, he falls in controversies that can take his life and career to completely different direction.