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Klinger to retire from first-class cricket

Michael Klinger has confirmed he will retire from first-class cricket at the end of the domestic season in Australia.

    Klinger, 37, has been one of the country’s most consistent run-scorers over the past two decades, but he will arguably be remembered as one of the best batsmen never to play Test cricket for Australia.

    Since debuting for Victoria, Klinger has gone on to play for South Australia and Western Australia, as well as featuring for his country in three T20 international He has also amassed more than 11,000 runs in 182 matches.

    He said: "I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to have been part of the Australian domestic cricket structure for 19 years in a row and I've loved and appreciated every minute of it.”

    Klinger has enjoyed a glittering with the bat and captained Australia’s under-19 team. He made his first-class debut in March 1999 and had a total of nine seasons with the Bushrangers before he moved to South Australia in 2008.

    Having featured prominently in the Big Bash and developed into something of a one-day specialist, Klinger has also enjoyed great success in the County Championship in England, with 12 of his 30 first-class tons coming in the UK.

    He said: "I'm in a unique position where I'd like to thank three organisations who gave me opportunities at different stages of my career. Firstly, to Cricket Victoria for their help and support in my development and giving me my initial opportunities in domestic cricket in Australia.

    “Secondly, I'd like to thank the South Australian Cricket Association for giving me an opportunity more than 10 years ago when my cricket career was at a crossroads, helping to kick-start a much-improved period of my career.

    However, cricket recently took something of a backseat for Klinger who has not featured in a first-class match for Western Australia this season, putting his career on hold to support his wife, Cindy, who is battling cancer. Klinger commented: "I also need to send a huge thank you to my family for all their support, in particular my wife Cindy and kids Bailey, Summer and Easton, who have travelled with me for the last 10 years, both interstate and overseas, to give me the best opportunity to chase my dreams.”

    A glittering career has not been without controversy; skipper Paul Reiffel declared when his young batsman was on 99 not out in a match in 2001, denying Klinger his maiden first-class century. He remains the only Australian batsman to be left stranded on 99 not out due to a declaration.

    The right-hander will see out the Sheffield Shield season and continue to play white ball cricket with Gloucester this summer.

    Former Australian Justin Langer Test star has seen Klinger accumulate a plethora of runs over the years. Now serving as coach of the Warriors and Scorchers, Langer remarked: "The greatest complement I could give Michael Klinger is to explain how I've been pinching myself every day since he agreed to come to the WACA, because he's such an incredible cricketer and incredible bloke.

    “He is an outstanding person both on and off the field and it's been an absolute pleasure to have him here at the WACA."

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