Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane and other players to watch at ICC World Cup Qualifier

Denzil Pinto 11:29 03/03/2018
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Nepal spin ace Sandeep Lamichhane.

With just two spots up for grabs, 10 nations including West Indies will fight it out to enter the ICC 2019 World Cup during the Qualifier that begins on Sunday in Zimbabwe.

Caribbean marauder Chris Gayle and Afghanistan star Rashid Khan might well be the high-profile names competing but there are other players who can make a big impact. We look at five players who can grab the headlines this month.


The left-handed top order batsman comes into the tournament with two fifties and a century in three domestic matches. Lewis is touted as the next Chris Gayle. The explosive batsman already has two ODI and as many T20 centuries under his belt from 39 matches. Likes to go for the big shots, as can be gauged by the fact he has hit 18 sixes in 25 ODIs.

Lewis is one of the most explosive batsmen in the game.


The teenager is a highly-rated spinner. Earlier last month in Sharjah against Zimbabwe, the Afghan spinner rewrote history by becoming the  youngest player to take a five-for (5-50) in ODIs aged 16, beating Waqar Younis who did so aged 18. With a variation of leg-spin, googlies and off-spin, expect him to add to his 19 ODI wickets.

Mujeeb bowls off-spin, leg spin and googlies.


The Nepalese leg-spinner is only 17 but has already bagged an Indian Premier League and a Caribbean Premier League contract this year. Helped his team reach the Qualifier, finishing joint-top in the World Cricket League Division Two with 17 scalps. Lamichhane will need to replicate that form if Nepal want to reach the next level.

Lamichhane is one of the most exciting talents in the world.


Anyone who watched the T10 League in Sharjah last December will know how effective he can be. In that tournament, the opener hit 44*, 66* and 52*, which earned the praise of his Kerala team-mate and Eoin Morgan. With a strike-rate of 90.87, six centuries and 15 fifties in ODIs, he can take bowlers apart.


Since making his ODI debut in January 2017, the spinner has become a key figure for the UAE. Haider has 17 wickets in eight ODIs so far and sent out a warning to the rest of the teams by finishing with figures of 4-16 against reigning World T20 champions West Indies in their 32-run defeat in a warm-up game.

Imran Haider

Haider enters the Qualifier in good form.

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