New Delhi: Delhi Capitals leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, the most well-known cricketer from Nepal, says he "can see the hunger" in the eyes of his compatriots to emulate him and help the country play in the top-flight soon.
Lamichhane is the only player from Nepal to have played in the IPL and believes that his national team has set its sight on playing top-level cricket.
"I can see the hunger in each and every player in Nepal. I know we all want to achieve big things and get Nepal to a level where we are able to play the likes of India.
"I'm confident we can do that very soon, the key will be to keep learning and keep working hard," he said.
Lamichhane, who made his IPL debut two years ago, spoke about his experience of playing in the glitzy cash-rich league during an Instagram live session with the Delhi Capitals franchise.
The 19-year-old has been regarded as a T20 specialist around the world and has already played in various leagues at such a young age.
— Delhi Capitals (Tweeting from Home🏠) (@DelhiCapitals) May 12, 2020
"I used to travel 20kms away every day to train while I was living with my sister. I was only 15 when I got to know one day that our national team coach will be coming to our academy. I was really excited just to see him, I wasn't really thinking about bowling in front of him," said Lamichhane.
"I have in fact developed a lot since then, I have played in almost all the leagues across the world, and I find myself really fortunate. Delhi Capitals also picked me up in 2018, and since then I've learned so much from my teammates and coaches here, so I can't wait to be back again," he expressed.
Mentored by Australian great Michael Clarke, he also spoke about the 2019 season with Delhi Capitals, when he picked up eight wickets in six matches.
"I think the best part about our team was that whoever got the chance, they proved themselves on the field. I feel the kind of class and skill that everybody showed last year was really a big boost for us."
"You could see there were massive improvements from 2018 to 2019, and we were all looking forward to the 2020 season with a few new names also potentially giving us a good chance at winning the trophy this time."
Lamichhane, who idolizes Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne, added that he has been helped by head coach Ricky Ponting since joining the franchise.
"I have always been so grateful to the coaching staff, especially Ricky, because they always put their 100 percent into everything."
"Ricky has been a great mentor for me he has put great faith in me, and I am happy that I have been able to pay him back through my performances on the field."
The leg spinner also added that he believes skipper Shreyas Iyer, teammates Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant have "always been very supportive" and have "helped in feeling at home at Delhi Capitals.
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