26 JANUARY 2020 I Melbourne Stars has been dealt a massive blow after “quality person” and “quality player” from the Himalayan foothills, Sandeep Lamichhane, flies home to answer the call of duty.
The 19-year-old flew out of Melbourne today to play for Nepal’s national team against Oman and USA.
The shock exit of the international signee has been a bolt from the blue for the Stars who have made to 7 out of the 8 finals of the Twenty20 franchise since its inception in 2011 – never winning the title.
The Melbourne Stars’ coach David Hussey told cricket.com.au that he did not “deal with it too well” when the Nepalese cricketer told him that his impending departure to play for his national team. However, he appeared to appreciate the situation Mr Lamichhane was in, that a player’s country comes first before a Twenty20.
Mr Hussey has spoken highly of the fine cricketer from the Himalayan foothills.
Although taken aback by the sudden turn of events, he praised the young Nepalese cricketer “because he’s a quality person, a quality player and a big part of our plans to go deep into the tournament”.
“But when you get called up to international cricket, it should be celebrated,” the Stars coach was quoted as saying. He said he was very happy at the opportunity Sandeep Lamichhane had gotten.
“He’s been fantastic for us for the last two years, he’s a great person. Unfortunately he has to go back (and) he won’t represent us in the finals. When you get called up to play international cricket, it’s pretty special,” the coach said
Sandeep Lamichhane is not the only international signee Melbourne Stars has lost this final BBL campaign. “Adding to the Stars’ woes is confirmation that Hilton Cartwright, who Hussey labelled their “find of the tournament” after forming a successful opening bond with BBL|09’s leading run scorer Marcus Stoinis, will miss the rest of the competition after fracturing his right hand,” cricket.com.au reported today.
Earlier, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had announced a 14-member squad for the tri-nation series for the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2. Hosted by Nepal, the series would kick off on 5 February.
Sandeep Lamichhane’s exposure to Australian cricket became possible courtesy of former Australian captain Michael Clarke. His first ever match in Australia was played at Mosman Oval on 29 September 2016.
“No batsman was confident about attacking him. He spun the ball past the bat three times in his first over. Fine bowling,” cricket writer Mark Ray said at the time when asked by southasia.com.au to comment on the then 16-year-old’s maiden performance down under.