Everyone is aware of the depressing state of affairs that our cricketers are presently enduring. Forget everything, if we can, for the time being, and turn our attention to something that soothe our minds and refresh our spirits.
On that note, I have decided to shift gear and focus on a conversation completely off the charts, for a change. I can assure you that the subject matter I am dealing with is heartening, encouraging, uplifting and reassuring.
My topic revolves around a teenager blessed with amazing, remarkable cricketing abilities. He has become toast of the town and finds himself in the media glare like never seen before, lately.
Leg spin is his forte, and watching this right-arm leg break googly bowler is a treat. No one disputes the fact that he has qualities of becoming a world-class spinner.
Speaking of the greatest leggies the world has seen, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Abdul Qadir, Mushtaq Ahmed names come to mind.
The teen hopes one day to be in the same league as the aforementioned stars of yesteryears.
He idolizes Shane Warne, the legendary Australian leg spinner, considered to be one of the best spinners in the history of cricket.
The Aussie has been a constant source of inspiration to him. His long-cherished dream is to become the future Shane Warne. Can he make it there? Only time will tell. All he does is watches his videos and clips over and over and has modeled his action on his hero.
The rising star is getting set for the all-important Australian sojourn. He just cannot believe that he has been handed an incredible chance to boost his career that is in its infancy. He could not have asked for more.
You have enough clues to guess it right. Yes, I am talking about none other than the sixteen year old sensation Sandeep Lamichhane.
Lamichhane’s opportunity to play and train in Australia was known to the cricketing community, following the press release from Western Suburbs, Sydney, Australia based club.
He will play grade cricket for the Western Suburbs along side former Australia captain Michael Clarke and train at the cricket academy (owned by Mr. Clarke) also.
Since the news broke, the kid has been in the limelight and attracted extensive media coverage nationally and internationally.
The opportunity came his way when Mr. Clarke saw a great potential in him. The two ran into each other in Hong Kong while playing together for Kowloon Cantons outfit in the Twenty/20 tournament.
Lamichanne’s sublime display of leg break bowling variations had Mr. Clarke in awe. Impressed and convinced of his potential, the Aussie made up his mind to bring him under his wings.
So much has been said and written of this high schooler who has won many hearts with his cricketing skills, earning him praise and high marks from all quarters, most importantly his idol Warne.
Like so many others, I also chose to write about the highly talented youngster because I had to. Never mind, I have lagged behind. Given his rapidly growing stature as a star, it would be so unfair to turn my back on him.
His meteoric rise to stardom at such a tender age is what has aroused my interest, or should I say my curiosity. Ever since he made a splash in international competition, he has not looked back. He just keeps moving up the ladder.
Despite his young age the lad has displayed a stunning maturity in his performance, coupled with confidence. I reckon no one thought he had a chance to make it this far.
And forget not that this is only the beginning of his budding career, and he has a long journey ahead of him.
Lamichhane was born and raised in Taalpokhari, Syangja district about 200 plus kilometers West of Kathmandu, where opportunities for aspiring cricketers was very limited.
It was during the early elementary school years, he fell in love with cricket and developed a burning desire to become a cricketer. Such was his passion and love for cricket, there was no holding him back. After they moved to Chitwan, his incredible cricketing journey began in earnest.
He began playing cricket at eight and played for his school team before joining Chitwan Cricket Academy where he trained under the watchful eyes of Raju Khadka, former skipper of the national team of Nepal.
Lamichhane’s remarkable spin trickery caught the attention of many, including former Nepal Coach Pubudu Dassanayake. Rightly so, the coach called him for the close camp for the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
He had his share of bitter taste of disappointment after failing to make Nepal squad, yet he put on a brave front. Much to his relief, it was short lived.
Lady luck smiled on him, and he was included in the team as a replacement. He did not let the opportunity go begging. He performed brilliantly in two consecutive warm up matches to seal a place in the first playing eleven.
2016 has been a phenomenal year for him in terms of success, fame and endorsements.
He put the icing on the cake with a career defining performance against Ireland. He vaulted to prominence overnight after his five-wicket haul, which included a memorable hat –trick.
He concluded the tournament on a high note with 14 wickets in his kitty. A star was born. Furthermore, as a result of his outstanding performance he was rewarded with a place in the national team.
He made his debut for the senior team against Namibia at home early this year He did not disappoint the expectant home crowd hoping to catch a glimpse of his spin bowling talent.
He wound up the two match series by grabbing 3 wickets and cemented his place in the national team. With this superb start to his two match old international career (with Team Nepal) it was obvious that he was going to get better.
He was the youngest member of the Nepali side that toured England and played at the historical Lord’s cricket ground against MCC.
He went on to play the two match-series of the ICC WCL Championship against the Netherlands in the Netherlands and picked up two wickets.
We have seen him amply demonstrate the willingness, drive and steadfastness to learn, develop and excel in the game. The Sri Lankan Dassanayke has been spot on in his statement when he predicted big things for him.
The Australian odyssey provides the leg spinner a lifetime opportunity to harness his skills and raise his game to a new level. Also it is a great learning process for him.
More important, he has to show high-levels of discipline, fitness, commitment and determination to succeed. Besides, he must make the most out of his opportunity.
The rising star is really looking forward to his trip to Australia. He just cannot wait. He is oozing confidence and appears to be all geared up, pumped and ready for challenges ahead. He is on cloud nine, obviously.
Lamichhane’s dedication, hard work should be an inspiration to cricketers of his generation in the country. His message to you all is about keeping dreams alive, having faith in yourself, commitment, self-discipline and hard work.
We have high hopes on you Sandeep. We wish you all success in your future endeavors.