Dipendra Singh Airee, born on January 24, 2000, is a Nepalese cricket sensation known for his remarkable feats on the cricket field. A versatile all-rounder, Airee was part of Nepal’s historic first-ever One Day International (ODI) match against the Netherlands in August 2018. His cricketing journey has been filled with impressive achievements, including breaking Yuvraj Singh’s 16-year-old record for the fastest T20I fifty during the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou in 2022. Airee has also made significant contributions to his team, such as being the third-highest run-scorer for the Montreal Tigers during the Global T20 League in 2023 held in Canada.
A Journey Rooted in Determination
Airee’s journey from the riverside ground of Gajjar Village to the Mahendranagar Ground is a testament to his dedication and hard work. He made his List A debut for Nepal against Kenya in the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship on March 11, 2017. Even before his List A debut, Airee had shown promise by being named in Nepal’s squad for the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
In the 2017 ACC Under-19 Asia Cup, Airee served as the captain of the Nepal national under-19 cricket team. He left an indelible mark by scoring 88 runs and taking 4/39 against India in a group A match, earning the well-deserved title of Man of the Match. His remarkable performance helped Nepal reach a total score of 185/8, and by leading the bowling attack, he forced India to collapse to 166 all out. This victory was considered an upset by cricket critics, and it showcased Airee’s potential as a cricketer.
Stepping onto the International Stage
In January 2018, Airee’s talent earned him a spot in Nepal’s squad for the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament. His consistent performances led to his inclusion in Nepal’s One Day International (ODI) squad for a series against the Netherlands in July 2018. These matches marked Nepal’s return to ODI cricket after gaining ODI status during the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Airee expanded his horizons by making his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut for Nepal in the 2018 MCC Tri-Nation Series against the Netherlands in July 2018. He continued to make strides, making his ODI debut for Nepal against the Netherlands on August 1, 2018.
Contributions and Milestones
Airee’s dedication to Nepalese cricket saw him named in Nepal’s squad for various tournaments, including the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier tournament and the 2018–19 ICC World Twenty20 Asia Qualifier tournament. In June 2019, he was part of Nepal’s squad for the Regional Finals of the 2018–19 ICC T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier tournament.
His progress in the sport culminated in his first-class debut on November 6, 2019, when he represented Nepal against the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) during the MCC’s tour of Nepal. Airee’s talents were further recognized when he was named as the vice-captain of Nepal’s squad for the 2019 ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Bangladesh. He also contributed to Nepal’s success in the cricket tournament at the 2019 South Asian Games, where the team won the bronze medal.
In September 2020, Airee was among the eighteen cricketers awarded central contracts by the Cricket Association of Nepal, a testament to his consistent performances and potential.
Dipendra Singh Airee’s journey has been marked by record-breaking achievements. On March 26, 2022, during the second match of a series against Papua New Guinea, he scored his first century in an ODI match with 105 runs, showcasing his prowess in the longer format of the game.
In the tri-series on April 2, 2022, Airee achieved another milestone by scoring his first century in T20I cricket. His impressive knock of 110 not out against Malaysia highlighted his adaptability across formats.
However, one of Airee’s most memorable achievements occurred on September 27, 2023. During the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou, he broke Yuvraj Singh’s long-standing world record by becoming the fastest player to reach 50 runs in T20I cricket, accomplishing this incredible feat in just 9 balls against Mongolia.
Dipendra Singh Airee’s journey from a young cricketer to a record-breaking maestro serves as an inspiration to aspiring talents in Nepal and beyond. His contributions to Nepalese cricket and his remarkable records have made him a prominent figure in the sport. Airee’s dedication, skill, and the ability to consistently raise the bar continue to define his career, leaving a lasting legacy in Nepalese cricket.