Dirk Nannes the man for some wizardry
The Canterbury Wizards have brought in the fast bowling cavalry for Friday night's domestic Twenty20 cricket match.
Dirk Nannes, the most successful T20 bowler of all time, will spearhead the Canterbury attack in the side's second round match, against the Northern Knights in Hamilton.
Nannes, 36, has taken 190 T20 wickets from 159 matches and is an in-demand mercenary in T20 circles.
He played two matches for the Wizards two seasons ago and has been on the side's radar since.
Nannes is a T20 hired gun playing around the globe and scheduling clashes mean Friday's match might be the only one he's available for this season, but the Wizards obviously think he's worth the investment and expected hefty price.
"He's a proven match winner, and with a couple of our strike bowlers still unavailable, Dirk will gives us a bit more firepower," coach Gary Stead said.
"I don't really know the guy, but all the reports from last time he was here was that he was a great bloke to have in the dressing room and he had a lot of offer in advice to our younger bowlers."
Nannes is one of the fastest left-armers in cricket and the former international skier will be a wicket taking threat at the top of the innings and a death bowling option for captain Peter Fulton.
He can swing the ball, has a clever change of pace his record speaks for itself.
The Wizards will hope Nannes can help them shut down the Knight's match-winning import duo of James Foster and Steven Croft.
The English pair have played leading roles in the Knights' two wins and are the reason the pink-clad ND side sit top of the table.
"They've got other threats too," Stead said.
"We know what they can do, but they also have [Scott] Styris, [Brad] Wilson and [BJ] Watling and they all very capable players too."
Stead's Wizards side will also have a very different look to the one that lost heavily to the Jesse Ryder-led Wellington Firebirds three weeks ago.
Nannes and English import Gareth Andrew replace Aussies Mitchell Claydon and Ben Laughlin while the return of three Black Caps is also a major boost for the side.
Andrew Ellis and Tom Latham return while Ronnie Hira will play his first game for the Wizards since shifting from Auckland.
Henry Nicholls, Willie Lonsdale and Matt Holstein drop out of the 13.
Brad Cachopa kept poorly in the side's first T20 loss and Latham could take the gloves, but Stead said that was because of a shoulder injury, not form.
Offspinner Tim Johnston, left armer Ryan McCone and Logan van Beek are likely to be vying for the final spot with the other two missing Friday night's playing XI.
The Wizards then play ND in a four-day Plunket Shield game, also in Hamilton, starting on Sunday.
CANTERBURY WIZARDS: Peter Fulton (c), Gareth Andrew, Dean Brownlie, Brad Cachopa, Andrew Ellis, Ronnie Hira, Tim Johnston, Tom Latham, Ryan Mccone, Dirk Nannes, Logan Van Beek, Shanan Stewart, George Worker.
THE DIRT ON DIRK Dirk Nannes Age: 36 Australia Fast left arm Played for: Australia, Netherlands, Canterbury, Delhi Daredevils, Lions, Melbourne Renegades, Middlesex, Mountaineers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Surrey, Victoria. Twenty20 matches: 159 Twenty20 wickets: 190 Twenty20 average: 21.76 Twenty20 runs per over: 7.29