"Dutch" Dirk has point to prove against Australia
Dirk Nannes, the Victoria fast bowler, believes Australia's selectors have erred in overlooking him for the World Twenty20, and plans to show them what they're missing when he lines up for his adopted nation, the Netherlands. Nannes has been in superb Twenty20 form with Delhi Daredevils in the IPL - his six wickets to date have cost just 6.48 runs an over, establishing himself as the preferred overseas paceman to Glenn McGrath - and feels he could have made a strong contribution for Australia, had he been given the opportunity.
Nannes was a surprise omission from Australia's original 30-man World Twenty20 squad, given his strong form in the format in both Australian and Indian domestic leagues. Prior to his successful stint with Delhi, Nannes had been the second leading wicket-taker in the Big Bash tournament, and his economy rate of 6.38 was the best among fast bowlers.
Rather than become embittered at his shunning by the Australian selectors, Nannes opted to represent the Netherlands, for whom he qualifies on account of his parents' Dutch heritage. He is now in line to play in the World Twenty20 tournament opener against England at Lord's, and could face the Australians in the Super Eights, should both teams progress.
"I'm not really that fussed that [Australia] are not picking me," Nannes told Cricinfo. "Of course I would like to play for them, but I've been given a really good opportunity by the Dutch team. If I play for Holland, I will probably make the starting XI. If I was picked in the 30-man squad for Australia, the chances are I wouldn't play and they'll play other people. Obviously I would like to play and I do think I'm good enough to play and I do think I would be one of the better players in their team, but they chose not to pick me. I'm still going to go to the World Cup and I'm still going to play."
Andrew Hilditch, Australia's chairman of selectors, said the availability and fitness of seasoned international fast bowlers had left no room for Nannes. "He has obviously had some success at domestic level, and mounted a strong case for consideration in the original 30-man squad," Hilditch told Cricinfo. "But I think you have to compare apples with apples, and while his performances have been good at domestic level, we are fortunate enough at this time to have some very good international bowlers available, as we had hoped.
"We feel we have the right flexibility in our squad with the players we have. I have not really thought too much about (Nannes' move to Holland), to be honest."