Michael Klinger ready to cash in on IPL

Michael Klinger is set to become the first Jewish cricketer to compete in the Indian Premier League after being snapped up by new boy's Kochi.

The South Australia skipper will earn around $75,000 after signing
a two-year deal with Geoff Lawson's franchise and will team up with the likes of legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Sri Lanka star Mahela Jaywardene.

The Twenty20 tournament, which will run from April 8 to May 28, is in its fourth year and has already
transformed the game on the sub-continent.

And Klinger, 30, says he was left biting his nails during last week's player auction after watching star names such as Chris Gayle, Graeme Swann and James Anderson all miss out.

"I was sitting there watching the live stream of bidding on the internet and I was so nervous," said Klinger.

"I had a very good Champions Trophy in India last year and that obviously gave a couple of teams a reason to bid for me.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and can't wait to get over there and play. I'll be available for the whole tournament and I'll be playing alongside some great players."

Only four non-Indian players can play in each game so I'll have to fight for a spot in the team but I'm confident I can do that."

Klinger has been in sensational form for South Australia in recent weeks and hit an unbeaten 76 as the Redbacks claimed victory over his former side, the Victoria Bushrangers, in the domestic T20 competition.

And Klinger, who is also set to play alongside England star Owais Shah and New Zealand's Brendon McCullum, insists he can shine in the IPL.

"I'll be talking to a few people about the competition and conditions before I go over there," he added.

"I've already spoken to VVS Laxman, who is also going to be at Kochi, and he's given me a few tips.

"I just need to take my form into the tournament and I know I can do well."

Klinger is a rarity in his homeland at the moment - an Australian who can smile during a conversation about cricket. But the Maccabiah star insists the Australians can bounce back from their Ashes nightmare - despite suffering a humiliating 3-1 series defeat against England.

"Australia were completely outplayed in all areas by a very good England team," Klinger said. "I'm sure they'll bounce back but England deserved to win this time.

"The selectors picked the best players but they just didn't perform and that has to be looked at."

    Last updated: 9:48am, January 14 2011