Sandeep Lamichhane makes strong debut in Sydney first grade

Ram KhatryBy Ram Khatry, Sydney
29 September 2016

Sandeep Lamichhane’s performance in his first competitive match in Australia was so good that no batsman from his opposition was “confident” enough to attack the Nepalese leg-spinner, says a widely-published cricket writer from Sydney.

Sandeep Lamichhane prepares to throw his first bowl at Pratten Park, the homeground of Western Suburbs | Photo: Courtesy of Mark Ray
Sandeep Lamichhane prepares to throw his very first bowl at Pratten Park, the homeground of Western Suburbs | Photo: Courtesy of Mark Ray

Mark Ray, who is spin bowling coach for Western Suburbs, also indicated he is very happy with how the teenager from the Himalayan foothills performed during his clash with Mosman on September 24.

“No batsman was confident about attacking him. He spun the ball past the bat three times in his first over. Fine bowling,” Mr Ray said responding to southasia.com.au‘s queries on the guest cricketer’s performance.

Mark Ray
Mark Ray | Photo: Supplied

“He is with Michael Clarke’s Academy coaches this week and hopefully at some stage Sandeep will have a net session with Shane Warne,” the writer of Cricket: the Game Behind the Game and Cricket Masala said on Thursday. Cricket Masala, a book of documentary cricket photographs, is listed as one of the best 50 cricket books ever published in Australia.

He said although it is not planned yet, he expects Michael Clarke to arrange something with Mr Warne as the two are “good friends”. When that does happen at some stage this summer, Sandeep Lamichhane no doubt will be thrilled to meet his hero.

Mr Clarke, who has taken personal interest in giving Mr Lamichhane all the exposure Australian cricket has on offer, continues to mentor the young cricketer. Mr Ray said it is great for both Mr Lamichhane and Western Suburbs that the former Australia Captain is taking care of his development.

Sandeep Lamichhane plays against Randwick-Petersham this Saturday(October 1) and Mr Ray has full confidence in his cheerful disciple, “I’m sure Sandeep will meet the challenge.”

The number of Sndeep-supporters at Mosman was “good for grade cricket” but given the fact that Petersham Oval (Address: Station Road, Petersham) is much closer to suburbs where Nepalese communities are concentrated, a bigger crowd is expected at tomorrow’s match.

Mr Ray believes the Nepalese cricketer could not be in better hands. Besides having the same wavelength, “They are good friends as well as teammates. And Sandeep could not have a better captain than Michael. He was a very clever captain of Australia, especially how he used spinners.”

“He bowled very well in his first match. And he fielded very well too. On a slow pitch he bowled slower than he had at practice in the days before the match. Although he changed his pace he was still accurate,” Mr Ray gave his expert analysis of the young man’s first day in the NSW Premier Grade Season.

western-suburbs-vs-randwick-petershamAccording to Mr Ray, someone who can bowl leg spin that well at 16 years of age should have a great future in the game. As he already plays senior international cricket, his cricket will only improve from here. “His shoulders, arms and wrists will get stronger as he grows and that will help his bowling. His future depends a bit on where he ends up settling. I’m just looking forward to seeing him play for Wests this season,” he said in an electronic conversation with southasia.com.au. He will keep learning as he plays more matches and will add some new deliveries, he said.

“Spinners do well in the Big Bash so I don’t see why Sandeep couldn’t bowl well there,” he said when asked about Sandeep Lamichhane’s Big Bash potential.

For now, the writer-turned coach is happy ensuring that The Under 19 World Cup star has his fair share of bowling, “He’s a charmer. He lives for cricket. As long as he’s bowling most days he’ll be happy in Sydney.”

Editor’s Note: The headline of this article has been updated; it previously read “Sandeep Lamichhane to  have “a net session” with Shane Warne”.

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