The price of loyalty for Thunder's globetrotter Dirk Nannes

Dirk Nannes, globe-trotting Twenty20 professional and cricketer of no fixed address, admitted there was truth in his former Victorian teammate Brad Hodge's suggestion he ought to turn up to matches dressed in a business suit to reflect his attitude to the game.

The 37-year-old fast bowler makes no bones about the fact that - as a freelance Twenty20 cricketer who, depending on the season, could be playing in Zimbabwe, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka or his native Australia - he's the chief executive, the foreman, the marketing man, the union representative, the factory worker, the strategist and the dietician for Dirk Nannes Inc.

''I cop a lot because I think about it as my business rather than my life,'' Nannes said before the Big Bash League campaign, where he will play for Sydney Thunder.

''I'm very different to most cricketers. The decisions I've made to follow Twenty20 cricket and to give Sheffield Shield away mid-season was easy because [as someone who didn't focus on cricket until my late 20s] it's not what I lived for.

''What I do is high risk. It's testing because I don't have a home base [as a player] to go back to; don't have that comfort of going back somewhere for medical support, and that's very important, or just having a [regular] team you know you play for.

''Have a poor tournament and it could all be over. It's a bloody good job but I don't think it's a life for a kid in their mid-20s. Unless you have a mature head on your shoulders, it's easy to become a sloth [on the road] and do bugger all.

''I'm not saying I'm perfect, it's taken a few years for me to work it out, but you have to be disciplined. I don't have many vices and that helps. It took a while for me to realise what works and what doesn't. It is a great life, I'm paid to keep fit and play sport and spend most of my time with my family, but I've found the guys who struggle on the road are the ones who don't get out and take a look around. I was in Chennai for three or four weeks before the IPL started and I think I ate once in the hotel during that time. You need to get out and see things.''

Nannes, who represented Australia's T20 team and the Netherlands' World Cup side courtesy of his ancestry, is one of cricket's more colourful characters. After competing as a skier at World Cups and running a travel agency that catered for ski bums, he made his debut as a fast bowler for Victoria at 29.

When the T20 circuit exploded, his passion for the world's ski-fields was put on ice, his Victoria cap stowed away and he answered the call, and the riches, of following the sun.

However, it takes a toll. Nannes, married to Erin with three children, spent the last six months recovering from a stress fracture. He played house dad and, while it was enjoyable from a family perspective, his time on the sideline was poor for business.

He's not alone. West Indies master blaster Chris Gayle said during his frustrating 2012-13 season with the Thunder that life as a child of the T20 revolution was brutal.

''It does take a toll on your body,'' Gayle said of the physical and mental demands. ''T20 might be a shorter version but you need to watch every ball very closely and you need to act. You have to run harder between the wickets when you are batting because you want every run and, even in the outfield, you need to be moving [fast] all the time because there is a time limit to bowl the overs. You need to keep moving around and it is very fast-paced and it is, to be honest, surprisingly tiring.''

And jet lag is no cup of tea either. Nannes' passport notes that over the last 12 months he has played in England, Sri Lanka, the Champions League, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Indian Premier League and Australia. While the cities he plays in are never the same, he said - like any successful franchise - his product remains the same in every market, every condition. ''I'm at a point where even though I'm playing under a different coach, in a different dressing room and playing alongside different people, I know my role doesn't change,'' he said. ''I'll always bowl one or two [overs] up the front, one in the middle if we need a wicket and one at the end.

''That doesn't change and I'm lucky in that respect. Some players have this mentality where they think they have to take a wicket every ball - Shaun Tait does that - whereas my mentality is to bowl a dot ball every delivery. I'm not saying who is right or wrong but that's my mentality because I'm trying to conserve runs, and if you conserve runs, you take wickets.

''But I love bowling the last over; love the pressure. There's nothing like being handed the ball - and it might only be once every 20 games when the match goes down to the wire - when you think 'I'm going to win this game'.

''I'm at the stage where I believe if I'm bowling well, there's nobody in world cricket who'll belt me around the park. I think if I bowl well I'll take my 3-20 off four overs but, if my body feels crap, I'll go 1-40 or 0-40 - that's just the way cricket is.''

Nannes has played for numerous T20 franchises since he retired from cricket's longer format in 2010, and he admitted the idea of giving his all for the Thunder and bleeding for the Sylhet Royals in Bangladesh, is not as much a motivation as his professional pride - and financial future.

''Sometimes it is just professional,'' he said with a refreshing honesty about the business of fronting up. ''It's at the point where I'll go home and my kids will never know what happened at work that day, my wife will never know if we won or lost or had a close game, or if I played crap or played well.

''It doesn't affect my personal life. It gets to a situation where you appreciate you turn up, perform as a professional and you're paid to do it. Maybe that sounds ruthless, maybe it is dispassionate, but I've played nearly 200 games - and when you play that many times, you can't act as if it's your first game.''

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