Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal’s teenaged leg-spinner, is set to play his second Big Bash League tournament, having signed a fresh deal with Melbourne Stars for the 2019-20 season.
"It was great fun and a great experience for me last year and I can't wait to join the Stars again," Lamichhane was quoted as saying by the Stars website. "I would love to see all the Stars fans and especially the Nepalese fans supporting us again this year."
Lamichhane first signed up for the Stars ahead of the 2018-19 season, where he picked up 11 wickets at 17.72. He played eight games, leaving the tournament briefly to be a part of the Bangladesh Premier League, and Nepal's T20I series against Sri Lanka, before returning for the final leg of the BBL. He will line up alongside fellow leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who was Stars' most successful spinner last season, when they made the final.
I am delighted to be returning to The @StarsBBL again. Last season was a great experience for me and I am looking forward to being part of the team @StarsBBL again and hopefully winning The @BBL.— Sandeep Lamichhane (@IamSandeep25) September 16, 2019
(@SayaCorps @TalhaAisham @CricketRaman @CricketNep ) pic.twitter.com/XZzRqQZ58d
The news comes as another boost for Nepal cricket, following the latest update regarding their progress towards ICC membership, with a CAN annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for September 27-28 to discuss their potential reinstatement.
In a short but impactful career, Lamichhane has played T20 leagues around the world, also becoming the first player from Nepal to feature in the Indian Premier League.
He made his international debut as a 17-year-old in May last year, as part of the ICC World XI that took on West Indies in a T20 International at Lord's. With Nepal being awarded ODI status the same year, Lamichhane made his international debut for his country in August 2018.
Trent Woodhill, the Melbourne Stars list manager, welcomed Lamichhane's return to the franchise. "We're really excited to have Sandeep back at the Stars," he said.
"He's a young, energetic and talented leg-spinner. To secure his signature for the entire Big Bash season is a great testament to the level of the competition and we can't wait to see what he produces this season working in tandem with Adam Zampa.
"He was definitely a fan favourite last season so it's great that fans will have the opportunity to come and watch someone so exciting for the entire Big Bash campaign."
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