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Dirk Nannes

The Australian left-arm seamer came to professional cricket relatively late in life, making his first-class debut aged 29 for Queensland in 2005-06.

His previous career in skiing, which almost gained him a place on Australia’s Winter Olympic team in the 1990s, had occupied most of his twenties.

It was only when Nannes began to take his cricket seriously that he came to the attention of Queensland’s selectors and his ski-travel company had to take a back seat.

He had a mixed start to his state career appearing the 2005-6 Pura Cup final in just his second first-class match as Victoria lost to Queensland by an innings and 354 runs. Nannes was on the receiving end, taking 3-150, as Queensland racked up 900 for six declared in their only innings.

Nannes overcame a shoulder injury the following season and enjoyed a successful 2007-08, catching the eye of Middlesex.

The Lord’s-based county signed him as a non-overseas player thanks to his Dutch passport and he made quite an impression, topping their championship bowling averages.

He also claimed 14 wickets en route to the Crusaders’ Twenty20 Cup triumph but his commitments with Victoria meant he was unavailable to play in the Stanford Super Series and the Champions League.

Contrary to popular belief, Nannes is not fluent in Japanese.