Sandeep Lamichhane, the 17-year-old national cricket player from Syangja, is a household name in Nepal. He has performed exceptionally well for the Nepali Cricket team in the last few years, both at home and abroad. He is now set to debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after being chosen by Delhi Daredevils (DD) at a fancy auction event held in Bengaluru. As the first Nepali IPL player, Sandeep has made history. We congratulate him on this success and wish him best of luck for his future games. The news has excited Nepali cricket fans and social media is celebrating the event as a win for young players from non-ODI (One Day International) and non-T20I country. He is all set to inspire a young generation of Nepali cricketers and a stark reminder to work hard if you aspire to be at the top. With Sandeep’s entry to IPL, DD has already earned the support of the entire nation.
Delhi Daredevils (DD), the formidable IPL outfit led by the likes of Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan in past, has signed the Nepali leg-spinning sensation Lamichhane as one of eight foreign players they can have for the 2018 season. He joins the elite list of international stars like Colin Munro and Glenn Maxwell to play in this relatively new Indian sports extravaganza, the IPL. For a nation where picking up the bat and ball is not still considered as a sensible career option, young star Sandeep has set a new benchmark for all the aspiring cricket players in the country. Despite the fact that the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), Nepal’s cricket governing body, is defunct for the last few years, players like Sandeep is a testament to hard work, right connections and continuous dedication despite humongous odds.
Sandeep is a perfect example of how a nation can reap the benefit of investing and providing platforms to young players. If he does well in the IPL, it will inevitably open doors to other Nepali players. Sports have always been a unifying thread across our history. We celebrate achievements of our players and take them as role models. However, our institutions like CAN and others have done a horrible job of playing the role of supporting and nurturing sports and players who have immense potential to make the country proud by their performance in international competition. CAN is mired in internal conflict and is currently being suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The government must seriously re-evaluate the resources it invests in sports. The government allocated paltry 2.4 billion rupees for sports in the FY 2016/17. A majority of that money goes to administrative expenses of sports’ governing body. We have a long way to go when it comes to investing in sports infrastructure and seeing the investment as worthy of fame and glory in sporting competitions worldwide. This must be done. But for now, let us enjoy Sandeep’s historic debut in the IPL and cheer for his excellent performance.