5 JANUARY 2020 I Sandeep Lamichhane has invited his fellow Melbourne Stars teammate Adam Zampa, with whom he has struck up a close friendship over the ongoing BBL season, to come and visit his scenic home country.
The Australian cricketer has spoken fondly about his Nepalese junior, eight years younger than him. A Cricket Australia post quotes him referring to the poster boy of Nepalese cricket as “a really good kid and a really good listener”.
According to the report, the leg spinners duo have formed a strong bond with Mr Zampa mentoring “the Nepalese teenager on the art of bowling defensively in T20 cricket”.
Adam Zampa and Sandeep Lamichhane claimed Melbourne Renegades’ five wickets on Saturday night – conceding just 45 runs from their combined eight overs. Their fantastic performance meant Stars avenged their loss to the same team during last year’s BBL decider.
The 27-year-old said he and the Nepalese cricketing import get along really well and that the latter has invited him to visit Nepal.
It is noteworthy here that the Himalayan nation is currently carrying out its biggest economic diplomacy exercise by celebrating Visit Nepal Year 2020.
“We have a lot of conversations. He’s obviously quite young and raw, and he loves getting wickets and he’s really good at that,” Mr Zampa was quoted as saying, “But sometimes the conversation is about being a little bit more defensive, and he’s trying to learn how to bowl a little more defensive.”
Mr Lamichhane’s performance yesterday has been hailed by his fans as the best so far in the current BBL season as he claimed three wickets of the Melbourne Renegades, giving away only 26 runs in four overs. The Renegades batsmen who fell to the 19-year-old’s bowling prowess were Shaun Marsh, Daniel Christian and Tom Cooper.
Mr Lamichhane began playing for the Melbourne Stars last year when thousands of his Nepalese Australian fans thronged to watch him play in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra. Despite his fantastic personal performance, the Stars fell short of winning last year’s title although the defeat was aptly avenged yesterday courtesy of Mr Lamichhane’s sensational triple kills.
Sandeep Lamichhane is the first Nepalese cricketer to play at the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League, the latter being his dream ever since he began travelling to Australia courtesy of former Australian captain Michael Clarke.
The heartthrob of Nepalese cricket is hopeful that someday his country will play Test cricket, he said last April in an interview with a global news service, “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.”
Melbourne Stars is now followed very closely by Sandeep fans back in Nepal, a scan of the club’s social media page shows. Commenting on its Saturday’s game against Renegades, Facebook user Anil Pokhrel wrote, “Most bowlers lose hope when they’re deliberately beaten in 1st and 2nd overs then few comeback in third and fourth overs. He is exceptional. He fights back and shows his vigour.What a comeback Sandy! 19 runs for 0. 7 runs for 3.
Finally 4-0-26-3 ????” (sic)