1 January 2019: A record number of Nepalese mob descended on the MCG today to watch Sandeep Lamichhane unleash his spinning prowess.
Today’s clash between Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades would probably be the Nepal teenager’s last BBL game in this series. The Melbourne Stars top hire is leaving for Bangladesh early morning tomorrow, it is understood. He is contracted to play for Sylhet Sixers in the 2018-19 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) alongside David Warner.
Fans’ expectations from the Nepalese cricket prodigy were high given his form in the previous three games where he took a total of seven wickets. With another today, he has taken a total of 8 wickets in this series which is still an impressive achievement given his age and the early stage of his career.
Team-wise, Mr Lamichhane finished on a victorious note, thanks to his teammate Marcus Stoinis who scored 78 runs with the help of four sixes. It was a clean win by seven wickets.
Although exact number is not yet officially known, Australian Nepalese who were at the MCG today told southasia.com.au that the crowd would have been easily over 2,000.
According to Keshav Kandel, the vice president of Non-Resident Nepali Association Australia, 900 tickets were from “Sandeep offer” by Melbourne Stars and “then there were many more”.
According to Yashwant Subedi who himself is a former Nepal Under-19 player, said an entire block had no one but Nepalese cheering on Sandeep Lamichhane. “There were more elsewhere,” he said in a telephone conversation.
A former sports bureau head of Kathmandu-based daily Annapurna Post pointed out yet another record of sort about Mr Lamichhane’s performance. Hemanta Kafle, who also happens to be the Australia correspondent of Nepal’s popular online media Setopati, said that four of the eight wickets that the Nepalese cricket prodigy took happened to be opposition captains – Melbourne Renegades’ Tom Cooper being the latest victim of his lethal bowling.
In other words, every game Sandeep Lamichhane played it cost the opposition a captain.
This news article has been edited 2Jan19 10:16 AEST