Dubai: Nepal wrist-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, one of the brightest young cricketers on the circuit, has been added to the ICC World XI squad for the fund-raising Twenty20 International match against the West Indies at the Lord’s on May 31.
The match will be played at Lord’s and all the proceeds will be used to redevelop the stadia in the Caribbean, which were damaged due to hurricanes last year.
17-year-old Lamichhane will join a star-studded line-up, which also comprises Eoin Morgan (captain), Shahid Afridi, Tamim Iqbal, Dinesh Karthik, Rashid Khan, Mitchell McClenaghan, Shoaib Malik, Hardik Pandya, Thisara Perera and Luke Ronchi.
Lamichhane was spotted by then Nepal coach Pubudu Dassanayake in 2014 and first represented Nepal in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2016 in which he took 16 wickets.
In the historic MCC versus Nepal match at Lord’s in July 2016, Lamichhane had figures of one for 25 as the visitors successfully defended 217 for eight, bowling out the hosts for 176 in 47.2 overs.
The wrist-spinner claimed 17 wickets in six ICC World Cricket League Division Two matches in Namibia earlier this year in February and then followed up with 13 wickets in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in March to help Nepal finish eighth and with it earn ODI status until 2022.
Reacting to the news of his inclusion in the ICC World XI, Lamichhane said, “I am privileged to have been chosen to be part of the ICC World XI against the Windies. It is an honour for the entire country and passionate followers of Nepal cricket, as well as an indicator that we are making our mark on the international game.
“What can I say about Lord’s, it’s the Home of Cricket, it’s a complete history of cricket and a dream venue for any cricketer. To play there in 2016 was a memorable occasion, which I look forward to reliving later this month. I hope I will continue to get opportunities in future which, in turn, will help me improve my skills as well as my country to strengthen its position on the world cricket map.”
In the meantime, Shakib Al Hasan has withdrawn from the match due to personal reasons and his replacement will be announced soon.
The West Indies, the reigning ICC World Twenty20 champions, are being led by Carlos Brathwaite. Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree and Andre Russell are among the other leading players in the squad.
The full World XI squad is as follows:
Eoin Morgan (captain, England), Dinesh Karthik (India), Mitchell McClenaghan (New Zealand), Hardik Pandya (India), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Luke Ronchi (New Zealand), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh). (ANI)