Last year, Sandeep Lamichhane was more or less unknown this year. Nepal cricket supporters may have had a decent idea. In addition, you would have to be a real cricket anorak to remember him as the skinny boy who made a hat-trick and was one of the leading wicket dancers of the 2016 U19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
How the times are changing Now the 18-year-old leg spinner is a global tourist, one of the hottest facilities of the T20 Grand Tour and an inspiration – not just for his compatriots in Nepal, but for anyone born outside of Cricket’s full member elite are.
Twelve months later, Lamichhane was back where he was when he learned for the first time that Delhi Daredevils had taken a chance on him by selecting him as one of their foreign players for the 2018 Indian Premier League.
He had been to the ICC Academy in Dubai with a Nepalese team preparing for World Cricket League Division 2 as the news came through.
“It’s been a year – I remember the day, January 28 – when I was selected,” Lamichhane said, speaking to the UAE ahead of Nepal’s limited series.
“The manager came and told me, when I was here, I was selected by Delhi Daredevils and it was a very exciting moment for me.
“Since then it has been a busy life. I am very happy with all the things that have happened. Suddenly everything changed. “I think it’s good news for Nepal Cricket. Nepal is also played by me in all these different leagues.
“And the new generations and the players who still play for Nepal will believe that there is something for them and that they can play as well.”
The Emirates Cricket Board plans to stream live for the first time when the national team play against Nepal on Friday. You can expect heavy traffic from the Himalayan nation, but not exclusively there.
n Australia, Bangladesh, India, the West Indies and even here in the United Arab Emirates, both in the Afghan Premier League and in the T10 League, Lamichhane was an international star.
Prior to this series, he met his national team members directly from the Premier League in Bangladesh. Considering how much cricket he has played since last January, it is remarkable that he stays so fresh.
“That’s what I do the hard work for,” he said of a hard work. “I do not want to neglect anything. I will play with a smile on my face and watch everything.
“I will always stay positive. Many things can change, there are always different scenarios, but if you keep a positive attitude, I think there will be many good moments in your life. “
After two defeats by Nepal last year, the home team are aware that it would be unwise to focus exclusively on the Lamichhane threat.