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The strange and wonderful Mr Nannes

When you're the world's only skier-cum-Japanese-speaking-saxophone-playing fast bowler, it's hard to separate the facts about you from the fiction

Jarrod Kimber

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A
Dirk Nannes in his delivery stride, Netherlands v Scotland, ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match, The Oval, June 3, 2009
Nannes: not even the squiggly stripe things running down his pants legs can make him uncool © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: C.B. Fry | Dirk Nannes

The problem with being an underground cult figure is that myth and truth can develop until the average cricket fan gets everything confused. I've been following Dirk since before the Dutch team came calling for him. I've been there when he has bowled in front of a handful of people at the MCG and at Lord's. I saw his wet Australian Twenty20 debut. So it is up to me to sort out the truth from the fiction.

Myth: He once strangled a bear with his own hands. (It was a lion. But he didn't kill it, not because he couldn't, but because killing a lion to prove how strong you are is not cool.)

Truth: He plays the saxophone. John Coltrane once came back from the dead and clapped at Dirk's rendition of "Alabama". Normal people would have been freaked out by this, but Dirk is not afraid of ghosts.

Myth: Virender Sehwag cried the first time he saw Dirk bowl in the nets. (Virender Sehwag is too tough to cry, even in happiness.)

Truth: Dirk's family is Dutch and his father was the inspiration for the Austin Powers character Goldmember.

Myth: His parents are not his real parents; they were actually explorers who were hiking up the Ural Mountains in Russia when they found a cave to have some lunch in. While looking for a nice rock to put their basket on, they found Dirk trapped in ice. (As if Dirk could come from something that sounds like a Pauly Shore film.)

Truth: Dirk is a gifted mogul skier. Although I have never seen him ski and know nothing about mogul skiing, I would say that Dirk is probably the best skier ever, and if he had been in Vancouver he would probably have won like six gold medals. Maybe seven.

Myth: Dirk can speak Japanese. (He doesn't need to speak Japanese. When he is in Japan he converses with people by playing the saxophone; he is such an emotive player, the Japanese understand him straight away.)

Truth: Even before he became a famous cricketer, lovers of hirsute males would come by his house, as, in 2003, his beard was ranked seventh-best in Melbourne.

Myth: Clint Eastwood travelled forward in time to meet Dirk so he could base the man with no name on him. (Of course that didn't happen, it is impractical.)

Truth: The Netherlands team briefly thought about not playing in orange as they thought it might emasculate Dirk, but once he was in uniform, they realised it made him even more scary.

Myth: Dirk is a handy batsman who can be relied upon for a plucky 40.

Truth: The ICC rigged the last World Twenty20 so that Dirk could bowl the first ball. They knew that the tournament was stupid and only Dirk could save it.

Myth: The reason that Dirk is such a bad fielder is because no one has ever had the guts to tell him.

Truth: Dirk also plays the harpsichord.

Myth: Dirk quit first-class cricket because he doesn't like to see a batsman he has just hit stain his whites with blood.

Truth: Dirk is the new CB Fry.

RSS FeedJarrod Kimber, the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com, is an Australian writer based in London. His new book is now on sale

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 11 
Posted by   on (March 20, 2010, 5:24 GMT)

Dirk Nannes is one Heck of a bowler. Too bad Australians didn't spot his talent early. Well, he can still be a part of One day outfit, but Australians seems to trust players like Mc KAy who got limited talents. Aus Selectors do come up with some weird choices. Remember what happened to Brad Williams.

But Nannes, u are a hero in India. We would love to see u charging for the next 3 years in IPL.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2010, 21:53 GMT)

A few other zingers:

- Dirk Nannes' bouncers don't actually kill batsmen, they just wipe them off the face of the space-time continum.

- Sachin Tendulkar once hit Dirk Nannes for six over his head. He was then awakened from his dream by an inswinging yorker.

- Scientific fact: Beamers are made up of an element known as Nannesanium.

Posted by kapil__goyal on (March 19, 2010, 16:19 GMT)

He is the best T20 bowler to date. rarely see him get hit out of the park and once he starts to get hit out of the park, there's no bowler who wouldn't. Like it happened against MI

Posted by knowledge_eater on (March 19, 2010, 16:00 GMT)

Excellent JK ... Chuck Norris is D.Bag. He is freken actor. Dirky is real deal. Well well well thanks for sharing GH's article written in 2009 (ipl2) now I am going to think 3 times before commenting on his article. Myth: Dirk Nannes didn't have good caring Nanni when he was younging thats why he is so fearsome.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2010, 13:57 GMT)

Dirk Nannes is the Chuck Norris of T20 :) and Chuck Noris is the Dirk Nannes of Kicking Ass! :D

Posted by sanyam_kamat on (March 19, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

lol...nice article ...really enjoyed reading the 'Truth' and 'Myths' abt Mr. Nannes

Posted by cool_varshith on (March 19, 2010, 10:30 GMT)

Dirk Nannes has counted to infinity! Twice!! And all this while running up to bowl a in-swinging Beamer! :P

Posted by ravikant.kisana on (March 19, 2010, 8:45 GMT)

Myth: Dirk can eat a whole roast pig by himself (truth - Dirk is so awesome that he doesn't need to roast the pigs.)

Posted by   on (March 19, 2010, 8:00 GMT)

Certainly, He's fast and ferocious and a rare gem for the Delhi Daredevils. I hope he fires today. He is quite surely 'Jack of All Trades, Master of None'. Nice one Jarrod.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2010, 7:03 GMT)

Dirk Nannes = cricket's Chuck Norris.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2010, 6:59 GMT)

good one jarrod. You missed out the myth about him being able to bowl beamers at will

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