Vic paceman Nannes scores IPL contract
Victoria paceman Dirk Nannes' excellent Twenty20 form has earned him an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract and could open the door to Australian honours later this year.
Nannes will play in the second edition of the lucrative tournament for the Delhi Daredevils, the franchise which recently signed NSW's David Warner and Victoria's Andrew McDonald and is coached by the Bushrangers' Greg Shipperd.
Nannes, 32, has been a key part of Victoria's strength in the shortest format in recent seasons, and his left-arm pace this season yielded 12 wickets in seven matches at 13.83, while conceding under seven runs an over.
"What an opportunity," Nannes said on Tuesday.
"It's good to be recognised for a few good seasons and for people to start recognising you as one of the better bowlers around is personally satisfying and good for the family obviously.
"And it will be a bloody good experience."
Nannes' performances and appeal in the shortest format gives him a solid case for earning Australian honours in the Twenty20 world championship, to be held in England later this year.
That case firms even further if Australia were to plump for a team of Twenty20 stars or expand their selection pool to address their crowded international schedule.
"I'd love to do it and you look at my figures and they say I should be playing, but it's not me who picks the squad," said Nannes, also the leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield this season.
"I understand there's a truckload of cricket going on and being a bowler, how can you possibly play that much cricket?
"In future it's probably going to get even worse and you do need large squads to cope with those sorts of demands on people's bodies.
"If that means I get a go, brilliant.
"I'm not hanging my hopes on getting a go, but I'm certainly trying my best to get a game and keep going, and all I can do is keep taking wickets."
The participation of Victorian and NSW players and coaches in the IPL in 2009 provides the potential for a tug-of-war between Australian states and Indian franchises when it comes to eligibility for the Champions League.
But the Bushrangers expect to have Shipperd, Nannes and McDonald in the blue and white even if the Daredevils qualify for the inaugural tournament, scheduled to be held later this year, on the basis Victoria is their principal team.
Indian franchises can claim Australian players for Champions League matches if they pay Australian states compensation.
The Chennai Super Kings did so last year to Western Australia to secure Mike Hussey for the first planned club championship, which was aborted because of the Mumbai terror attacks.
Nannes' said his new contract eased the pain of Victoria's last-ball defeat to NSW in Saturday night's Twenty20 final.
"But it doesn't change the fact that it was a pretty disappointing result in the end," he said.
"We've got some pretty solid goals for Victoria, and while IPL is an eight-week job, Victoria is the other 10 months of the year and is a big part of my life."