Nathan Rimmington signs for T20
There will doubtless be those who, seeing the name of the player that Derbyshire have engaged as a 'death' bowler for T20, will ask a very short question. Who?
On the face of it, Nathan Rimmington, at 32, isn't a household name. He is still five wickets short of a hundred in first-class cricket (though may reach that landmark in the Sheffield Shield final that starts this weekend) and has only 65 wickets in T20. The statistics aren't as impressive as those of, say, Tillakaratne Dilshan, where justification is unnecessary. But they don't tell the full story.
That's because the more discerning will have seen Rimmington in action and know what an impressive bowler he is. Indeed, his efforts have led Western Australia to the Sheffield Shield final, taking 32 wickets at just 23 runs each, bowling with accuracy and hostility. His figures are better than both the highly-regarded Nathan Coulter-Nile and Michael Hogan, who has done so well over the past two summers here for Glamorgan.
In T20, despite bowling at the start and end of the innings, he has conceded only just over seven runs an over and was the first man in Australian cricket to take a hat trick in both twenty and fifty over cricket. He is a very good and highly-skilled bowler, exactly the sort of man that Derbyshire need.
I am surprised we have got him, as Hampshire had high hopes of engaging him for the summer and using the player's British passport to do so. He played one T20 match for them last year, but the southern county's loss is very much Derbyshire's gain. Earlier in his career he had serious injury issues, but has now come through these and become one of several talented and underrated seam bowlers who are just outside the national side but who have mastered the art of seam bowling.
I wouldn't have said he was 'fast' - not Footitt fast - but he is quick enough to trouble good players and has enough command of the ball to get them out. There aren't many ahead of him in the Australian national averages and if that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is. There is an interesting T20 bowling tutorial by the player, sporting an impressive beard at the time, here.
In recent seasons we have largely lacked two things in T20 cricket. A batsman who could lead from the front and maximise the opening overs when the field has to be in, and a bowler who could keep his nerve when the opposition were going for it at the top and tail of their innings.
With Martin Guptill and Tillakaratne Dilshan we clearly have the former. For me, Nathan Rimmington will give us the latter. Some may not know much about him now, but by the end of the summer, I expect you to be impressed, just as I have been whenever I have watched him in the Big Bash. It represents a very sound signing of an extremely professional and very underrated bowler and excellent work, once again, by all concerned.
Now enjoy some footage of our new man, courtesy of Youtube. He features throughout, but there are two wickets around 3'50 on the video below.
Going to work with a smile on my face again today...