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Nannes warns youngsters about Twenty20 riches

Andrew McGlashan

July 20, 2010

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Dirk Nannes failed to get the early breakthrough, Australia v Pakistan, 2nd semi-final, ICC World Twenty20, St Lucia, May 14, 2010
Dirk Nannes wants to take his Twenty20 success into the ODI game at next year's World Cup © AFP
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Players/Officials: Dirk Nannes

Dirk Nannes, the Australian left-arm quick, has warned cricketers against pinning all their aspirations on Twenty20 despite his own success at forging a career in the shortest format of the game. He believes all players should aim for Test honours and only give that away if injuries impact heavily on their careers.

It was a route Nannes took earlier this year when he quit first-class cricket after a series of injuries to focus on limited-overs. He has now formed a successful Twenty20 career with Australia and with domestic teams around the world, including Nottinghamshire whom he has helped qualify for the Friends Provident t20 quarter-finals, but still harbours ambitions of playing in next year's 50-over World Cup.

However, with the sums of money now on offer for Twenty20 it will be increasingly tempting for players to angle their game towards that format. There are already signs of such developments with Kieron Pollard, the West Indies allrounder, plying his trade around the world and, although not a youngster, Shahid Afridi last week quit Test cricket saying he didn't have the temperament for the game.

"I don't think playing just Twenty20 is a good move. I think it would be a wrong move for a young player to go and do that," Nannes told Cricinfo. "I don't think it's the right thing, certainly from a cricket development point of view. Yes, short term, you might be able to make a few quid out of it but long term you find the best players in Twenty20, more often than not, are the best in Tests and one-dayers as well.

"I don't think it is right that people give those things away too early. There's been talk of people like David Warner being just a Twenty20 specialist, but I think that would be dangerous for someone like him to do that without first trying to be a Test cricketer. He's certainly trying to be successful in all formats and I don't think it's right to just try to be a Twenty20 specialist.

Nannes doesn't want to stick to playing just Twenty20 and is pushing for a place in Australia's World Cup squad next year. He has only played a single ODI, against Scotland last year, but feels he has plenty to offer the 50-over game if the selectors want to give him a chance.

"Absolutely, I'd love to," he said. "I'm still playing one-dayers at home. I certainly want to throw my hat in the ring for that, but unfortunately I don't pick the team and they haven't selected me yet so we'll have to see how it goes. I think I've bowled well in India as a whole in the IPL and fast bowlers still have a case to play out there and do well."

Nannes didn't want to give up first-class cricket but felt it was the only way to prolong his career, which is a decision that has also been taken by his Australia team-mate Shaun Tait, while Andrew Flintoff shelved Test cricket after another injury last year.

"While I can sit there and think 'what if' the facts are that while I'm playing the longer forms my body suffers," he said. "The chances are that if I was playing four-day cricket that I wouldn't be able to stand up at the moment to play in a Test. I don't have many regrets about most things I've done in my life."

Nannes, though, doesn't go along with Imran Khan's views - expressed at this year's MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture - that fast bowlers will become extinct because of the increasing demands being placed on them by packed schedules, even though he admitted it wasn't easy for the guys who bowl at 90mph.

"That's a bit sensationalist," he said. "I wouldn't have thought we were becoming extinct. I think with the nature of how much cricket we are playing fast bowlers are prone to being injured more. Playing so much cricket isn't really conducive to good fast bowling so I can see where he's coming from, but in terms of being a dying species I don't think that's right."

Dirk Nannes is playing for Nottinghamshire in the Friends Provident t20 Quarter Finals. For more information on Friends Provident's pensions, protections and investment products visit or to buy tickets click here

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by lucyferr on (July 22, 2010, 2:39 GMT)

The only reason he wants to play Tests & ODIs is that he's only played 0 Tests and 1 ODI and he's curious about what he's never had. (And, I admit, coz the World Cup that historically matters is the ODI one. For now.) If he ever actually played a few matches in those formats, he'd realize how boring they are. He's worth far more as a brilliant T20 player than as some boring Test/ODI cricketer.

Posted by D-Train on (July 21, 2010, 15:24 GMT)

He's an Australian born and bred in Australia. He only played for Holland because he has dutch heritage. How exactly does that cause him to lose his dignity and betray Holland?

And he probably would've played Test cricket but he didn't start his domestic career until his 30's.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2010, 13:44 GMT)

he betrayed holland. they r the ones that gave him a chance. he picked to play for the better team but he lost his dignity.

Posted by DamieninFrance on (July 21, 2010, 7:07 GMT)

I must admit that I love watching fast bowlers out-think a batsman in test cricket. I remember watching Ambrose work over the Australian batsmen so well in Perth in the early 90's. Donald wasn't just quick, but thoughtful in his approach, and when he was new on the scene, Malinga would make subtle variations in his approach (which was already novel to just about any batsman) which would end up kissing the edge of the bat. McGrath's hat-trick against Campbell, Lara and Adams in 2000 was cricketing poetry. A quick bowler's wicket against a batsman trying to thrash every delivery to the boundary is nowhere near as satisfying. We need to figure out a way to keep fast bowling in tests a marquee image. Reduce the number of tests, which would make them that much more desirable for spectators and players. Also reduce number of ODIs and allow more time for player recovery. Spectators would desire the experience even more and only the best players would play tests. Fast bowlers included.

Posted by TheSmudge on (July 21, 2010, 6:43 GMT)

To be fair, BillyCC, Nannes is 35 years old. It is a bit harsh saying he should sort out his injuries and turn himself into a test player. It is a shame because I really like him, but his career took off too late in life because he was too doing other things.

Posted by Andrew_S on (July 21, 2010, 1:21 GMT)

Ganesh, which Harris are you suggesting Nannes would be more effective than? Surely not Ryan Harris who has 41 wickets at an average of 16 (which places him at no 1 out of bowlers with more than 20 wickets in ODI's and number 3 of bowlers with more than 10 wickets) and an economy rate of 4.7 in just 17 ODI's?

Posted by BillyCC on (July 20, 2010, 23:36 GMT)

Nannes sold himself out to T20 instead of working out a way to cure his injury problem. Pity, he might have made it in Test cricket.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2010, 20:38 GMT)

@Thomas: so what, only women can be spinners? :P

Posted by   on (July 20, 2010, 20:35 GMT)

I guess Dirk misunderstood where Imran is coming from. Brinf Dirk in Test cricket, and you will see him bowling 80-85 Mph. Look at Ishat Sharma , he was bowling around 92 mph last year, now he bowls around 85 mph. The fast bowler's desire to bowl quick diminishes with hectic cricketing schedules.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2010, 18:36 GMT)

Nanes should be tried at ODI level.... i betya he is more effective than Harris....... nd woth Brett Lee At the fag end of his carrer... time for Nannes.. although nanees is also 33 years old..still fit enough~!

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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