Dirk Peter Nannes
May 16, 1976, Mount Waverley, Melbourne, Victoria
Right hand bat
Left arm fast
A self-confessed "accidental cricketer", for most of Dirk Nannes' adult life, cricket has been an afterthought. He used to play a couple of club games at the start of the season, a handful at the end, and in between travel the world pursuing his other passion, skiing. He was no run-of-the-mill ski bum - he competed for several years in World Cup skiing events and narrowly missed selection for the Australian Winter Olympics team in the late 1990s. But when he started to take his cricket seriously, he quickly grabbed the attention of Victoria's selectors. It led to a first-class debut at 29 in 2005-06, and in his second game he suffered the group humiliation of watching Queensland storm to 6 for 900 declared in the Pura Cup final.
A persistent shoulder injury picked up during a stint in English club cricket limited him to one match the following summer, but in 2007-08 Nannes enjoyed his most productive season. A genuinely quick left-arm bowler who can swing the ball late, Nannes collected 22 Pura Cup wickets at 28.54, although he was again part of a demoralised, unsuccessful Victoria side in the decider. There was more joy in the Twenty20, where he was instrumental in the Bushrangers winning the title. Nannes destroyed Western Australia with 4 for 23 in the final, and his promising FR Cup season - 11 wickets at 20.54 - hinted that he would be a big part of Victoria's attack moving forward.
Nannes was Middlesex's spearhead when they won the domestic Twenty20 cup in 2008, and with his stock as a limited-overs bowler rising with every game, he was signed by the Delhi Daredevils before the 2009 edition of the IPL - and chose his franchise over Victoria, his state side, when both teams made it to the Champions League that year.
Nannes gave up hope of playing for Australia after being overlooked for the World Twenty20 in England in 2009. Instead, he turned out for Netherlands (he is the son of Dutch migrant parents and carries a Dutch passport) and was part of the side that shocked England in the tournament opener. Though he went wicketless in that game, he was soon on Australia's radar, making his debut in an ODI against Scotland at Edinburgh. Quickly establishing himself as one of Twenty20 cricket's leading bowlers in the international arena, Nannes was the leading wicket-taker at the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in May 2010, picking up 14 scalps at 13.07.
Despite picking up 93 wickets at a shade over 25 in less than three years of first-class cricket, Nannes decided to retire from the longer forms of the game in February 2010 and become a limited-overs specialist - a route that is becoming increasingly more common for fast bowlers. Unlike a typical fast bowler, however, Nannes speaks Japanese, studied the saxophone at university and runs a successful ski-travel company.
Brydon Coverdale & Liam Brickhill May 2010
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