Bengaluru, January 28: Sandeep Lamichhane was not even supposed to be in the IPL auction after missing the deadline to register for it. But Lamichhane found assistance at the right time from right corners, propelling the Nepalese cricketer to the pool.
On Sunday, Lamichhane became the first player from Nepal to get an IPL contract when Delhi Daredevils bought him for the base price of Rs 20 lakh.
"I was happy about being in the IPL auction pool, happy about the fact that my name would come up for auction along with some of the best cricketers in the world. Never expected to get picked up and happy about it. But such steps are a great boost for Nepal cricket," Lamichhane told mykhel.com.
The leg-spinner is now getting ready to play for Nepal in the ICC World Cricket League in Namibia from February 6.
"It's an important tournament for Nepal because it can open a path for us to the qualifiers for the World Cup 2019. Even getting to the Qualifiers will be a big achievement for a small nation like us and hopefully, we can go further," said the 20-year-old.
Lamichhane was the second highest wicket-taker in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 taking 14 wickets including a hat-trick.
Lamichhane is no stranger to India as he studied in the country till the fourth standard since his father worked with the Indian Railways. The time in India helped him to get attracted to cricket and became a big fan of Indian players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni.
He fondly remembers the interaction with Dravid during the Under-19 Asia Cup after Nepal stunned India. "Dravid walked to our dressing room and congratulated all of us and told us to stay focused on the game. It was a great moment for all of us to interact with a legend like him," said Lamichhane, a big fan of Aussie spin legend Shane Warne.
Lamichhane also credited Michael Clarke for his progress as a cricketer. The former Australian captain gave him a chance to play with Western Subrubs, Clarke's team in the New South Wales Premier competition.
"It was a great experience to go to Australia and play cricket. Clarke supported me in all possible way during my stint there and it also helped me grow in confidence as a cricketer," said Lamichhane.