Sandeep Lamichhanee becomes the first Nepali cricketer to be drafted in by an Indian Premier League team as the Delhi Daredevils bought the 17-year-old Nepali leg-spinner for his base price of INRs 20 lakh (NRs. 32 lakh) at the IPL Auction on January 28.

When Sandeep was presented for the bid, only Delhi Daredevils, coached by former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, put a bid on him.

Sandeep made headlines when he took a hat-trick against Ireland at the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh as Nepal entered the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time in their cricket history. He subsequently finished as the second highest wicket taker in the tournament with 14 wickets. He was called ‘the Nepali Shane Warne’ for his bowling in the tournament.

Sandeep, in his tweet, expressed happiness, thanked all and added that ‘journey begins now’.

He played for Kowloon Cantoons in the 2016 Hong Kong T20 Blitz where he impressed former Australian captain Michael Clarke, who also played the same team. Clarke invited Sandeep to represent the Sydney-based club Western Suburbs and train at Clarke’s cricket academy in Sydney during the course of his season-long stay in Australia.

A press release from Western Suburbs at that time stated that Clarke “had recognised Sandeep’s outstanding potential” during his short stint as a player and mentor in Hong Kong earlier this year.

“Sandeep is a fantastic young man who enjoys his cricket and is extremely passionate about the game,” Clarke was quoted as saying in the release. “It is a really exciting opportunity to have such a talented Nepalese cricketer travel this distance to come and test his skills and improve his game at my academy. I am looking forward to working with him and all the boys and girls that will attend the 5-day live in camp starting September 26th.”

Sandeep has played 9 List A matches so far taking 12 wickets at the strike rate of 37. He is currently traveling to UAE for practice matches and will travel to Namibia for the World Cricket League Division 2 from February 8 to 15.

The IPL will be held from April 7 to May 27, 2018.

Here are some of the reaction on his auction for the IPL:

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba:

National captain Paras Khadka:

Former national captain Raju Khadka wrote: “Congratulations Sandeep Lamichhane you have made us proud.”

Former national captain Binod Das:

Congratulations @IamSandeep25 .. u have made us all proud. Thank u @DelhiDaredevils for the opportunity to this young kid from a tour cricketing nation. #supportdelhidaredevils #ipl2018

— Binod Das (@binodsum) January 28, 2018

President of Nepal Sports Journalists Forum Mahesh Acharya:

Congratulations to Sandeep Lamichhane for being picked up in IPL. Thanks to #DelhiDaredevils #VIVOIPL2018

— MAHESH ACHARYA (@maheshach) January 28, 2018

Former CEO of Hong Kong Cricket Tim Cutler:

Well well well huh @MClarke23, would appear a certain Mr Ponting + crew at @DelhiDaredevils saw the potential we’ve all seen too! Congrats @IamSandeep25 and all #Nepal #IPLAuction @KowloonCantons

— Tim Cutler (@timcutler) January 28, 2018