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Klinger debut worth the wait

I can’t think of too many sportsmen or women who have made their international debut aged 36.

    It’s no surprise that Michael Klinger shed tears when he was informed by Western Australia coach Justin Langer of his call-up. Finally. What an earth took the selectors so long?

    Klinger has been one of the most consistent run-scorers in all forms of cricket for the past few seasons, anywhere in the world. How he was overlooked at this week’s IPL auction is beyond me.

    Melbourne-born Klinger is one of the most adept performers in white-ball cricket. He has an unbelievable strike-rate and repertoire of shots. He warmed-up for his debut match with throwdowns from former Aussie captain Ricky Ponting and coped with his nerves admirably.

    Ian Wright and Jamie Vardy are other late developers in the sporting arena, but it’s been a whole new ball game for Klinger.

    * North London Raiders C are scheduled to become the first MGBSFL team to finish their season when they host Redbridge Jewish Care C in Division Two on Sunday. When I asked NLR boss Sam Rose if finishing season before end of Feb has to be some kind of record, he replied: “Yeah … insanity!”

    An NLR win would virtually hand long-time leaders L’Equipe the title and they approach the game in confident mood.

    Rose said: “We've had a fantastic second half of the season, showing phenomenal improvement. Our team spirit has improved boundlessly and we firmly believe if we can carry our form into next season we'll be in the race for promotion.

    “We'll be looking to finish the season on a high with a positive result against Redbridge."

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