DIPENDRA SINGH. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)
In a scintillating display of power hitting, Nepal’s young sensation, Dipendra Singh Airee made history by smashing the fastest fifty in T20I cricket, achieving this feat in a mere nine balls. This remarkable achievement saw him eclipsing the long-standing record set by India’s Yuvraj Singh during the 2007 T20 World Cup clash against England. Dipendra’s blitzkrieg innings left spectators in awe as he remained unbeaten on 52 runs off just 10 deliveries, a knock embellished with an astounding eight towering sixes against Mongolia in the Asian Games 2023.
A rising star in the post-Paras Khadka era of Nepali cricket, Dipendra Singh Airee possesses a formidable prowess with the bat, marked by his distinctive do-rag peeking out from under his helmet. His cricketing journey commenced with the 2016 U19 World Cup, and he swiftly transitioned into the senior ranks at the tender age of 17, making his debut against Kenya in 2017. His inclusion played a pivotal role in Nepal’s journey to ODI status in 2018, cementing his reputation as a key player.
Initially heralded primarily as a batsman, his utility evolved over time. While captained by Khadka, he only occasionally rolled his arm, bowling a mere single over in his initial 22 T20Is and a handful of overs in ODIs. However, the cricketing landscape witnessed a transformation as Nepal’s fixtures resumed post the COVID-19 pandemic.
The right-handed batter’s disciplined off-spin became a linchpin of the team’s strategy. Not only did he consistently complete his allotted overs, but he also proved to be a potent wicket-taker while maintaining an economical line. This multifaceted player’s capabilities dispelled any doubts about his spot in the squad despite fluctuations in his batting form.
In the One Day International (ODI) arena, the 23-year-old has showcased his mettle in 52 matches, amassing 889 runs at an average of 19.75, with a strike rate of 72. His highest score of 105, coupled with three half-centuries and a century, bears testimony to his ability to anchor an innings. In the high-octane world of T20 Internationals (T20Is), he has featured in 45 matches, where he has accumulated 1155 runs at an impressive average of 37.25, boasting a striking strike rate of 136.84. His unbeaten knock of 110 in this format stands as a testament to his ability to seize control of proceedings.