24 April 2019: Poster boy of Nepalese cricket, Sandeep Lamichhane, is so frustrated with the current set up of the World Cup that he longs to see the day when “big cricketing nations” get thrashed by some “under-rated” team.
This, he told global news agency AFP, will be a huge encouragement for smaller and upcoming national cricket teams like that of his own country.
In his recent interview with the news service, Mr Lamichhane maintained that World Cup comes after waiting four years but “an emerging nation” like Nepal cannot “achieve their biggest dreams there” because the current set up of the World Cup allows only 10 teams.
“Even in 2023 there are (again) only 10 teams so it will be a while before we can even think of playing in the 50-over event,” the 18-year-old was quoted as saying in an AFP article posted on Cricket Australia’s website.
The Nepalese leg-spinner says he would like the World Cup to have at least 16 teams.
Only Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies will play the Cricket World Cup 2019 which kicks off on May 30 with England clashing against South Africa.
The fact that even the 2023 Wold Cup will have only 10 teams only means a country like Nepal will be waiting for a while before they can actually taste the satisfaction of competing in the World Cup.
The heartthrob of Nepalese cricket is hopeful that someday his country will play Test cricket.
He pointed out that Nepal was virtually “nothing” only two years ago but now the mountain republic is an ODI and T20 nation, “Hopefully there will be a time when we become the next Test nation. Even if I play a Test match for my country after 10 years, it will be the proudest moment.”
Mr Lamichhane is the first Nepalese cricketer to play both at the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League in Australia.