New Delhi: Nepal’s cricket sensation Sandeep Lamichhane Saturday urged
the game’s administrators to increase the number of teams in the World
Cup and give associate nations a better chance of playing on the
sport’s biggest stage.
Lamichhane, 17, and his teammates made history earlier this month when
Nepal gained one-day international status at the World Cup qualifying
tournament in Zimbabwe.
The 2019 World Cup in England and Wales will have 10 teams —
including the West Indies and Afghanistan, who won their spots in
tournament through the qualifiers.
Lamichhane — the first Nepalese player to land an Indian Premier
League deal — believes the International Cricket Council should give
more opportunities to up-and-coming teams.
“Every player from every country dreams of playing (in) the World
Cup,” the leg-spinner told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday.
“ICC should have increased the number of teams so that every player
gets a chance to play (in) the World Cup and grow their cricket to the
He has come a long way from competing against players from associate
nations to playing with some of cricket’s biggest stars in India’s
cash-rich Twenty20 tournament.
The IPL’s Delhi Daredevils paid $318,000 to sign him in January.
Now Lamichhane, who has been likened to spin legend Shane Warne, is
being coached by World Cup-winning former Australia captain Ricky
“He is a fantastic player from his era to now and it’s a precious
moment to share a dressing room with him,” Lamichhane said of the
– A new era –
The Nepalese teenager also trained at Michael Clarke’s cricket academy
in Sydney after he was spotted by the former Australian skipper at the
Hong Kong T20 Blitz tournament in 2016.
The same year, the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) was suspended by
the ICC because of political interference by the Himalayan nation’s
Lamichhane is hopeful that his IPL stint will be the start of a new
era for Nepal’s cricketers.
“We were nowhere in cricket in the last two years (but) after getting
ODI status recently we are getting lots of opportunities,” he said.
“I think (the IPL) is a great opportunity for me and it will help grow
our cricket back home.
“We want to remain… an ODI nation and we want to play Test cricket as well.”
Lamichhane added that exposure at the game’s highest level will help
bridge the gap between players from associate nations and cricket’s
At Delhi, he will be joined by Australian allrounder Glenn Maxwell,
New Zealand pacemen Trent Boult and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada.
“Some of the balls which can’t be hit by associate players, (top
players) can smash them anywhere,” Lamichhane said.
The “difference is experience, we don’t get to play those big games.
We don’t get that kind of exposure.”