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Twenty facts about our new Twenty20 coach

26 November 2019

Get to know new Melbourne Renegades coach Michael Klinger with 20 facts about one of cricket’s most successful Twenty20 exponents.

1. Klinger has scored more runs than any other cricketer in BBL history. Yep, seriously. More than any other. He scored a total of 1,947 runs in 71 matches for the Adelaide Strikers and the Perth Scorchers between 2011 and 2019, including a top score of 105 not out.

2. The downside to that is Klinger is set to relinquish the record when Chris Lynn next walks to the crease for the Brisbane Heat. Lynn, who has made 1,945 Big Bash runs, will only need to hit one more boundary to go past Klinger’s record.

3. Klinger’s long been involved in on and off-field leadership positions, captaining the Australian Under 19 Men’s team. His deputy? A man named Michael Clarke.

4. At the age of 36, he became the oldest player to debut for Australia in a Twenty20 International. He received his well-deserved call up against Sri Lanka in February 2017, averaging 47.66 across three innings, including a top score of 62.

5. He is well travelled in cricketing terms, having played for 11 elite international and domestic teams since debuting in the summer of 1998/1999. Among those are three Australian states (Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia and English counties Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

Michael Klinger (bottom right) celebrates with his Victorian teammates after winning the 2006/2007 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash final against Tasmania. Behind him to his right is outgoing Renegades captain Andrew McDonald. Photo: Getty Images.

6. Retirement finally came calling this year, when he wrapped up a memorable career with one final season in England. He signed off on a high note, too, scoring 102 – his eighth T20 century – in his third last match against Kent in August.

7. Twenty20 cricket was clearly his thing from the get-go: Klinger scored 28 from 12 balls in his T20 debut for Victoria against Western Australia at the WACA in early 2006,

8. Success in the shortest format of the game is something Klinger knows all about. He has played in five title-winning teams in Australian domestic T20 cricket, starting with victory for Victoria against New South Wales in the inaugural tournament back in 2005/2006 and finishing with a second win for the Scorchers in BBL|06.

9. Klinger is a Victorian at heart, born in Kew in the winter of 1980. He has not played or coached in the state since the 2007/2008 season.

10. He spent time with the Melbourne Football Club earlier this year, gaining experience with the club’s football and high performance departments.

A leader from way back. Klinger (second from the right), now at South Australia, joins Stuart Clark, Adam Voges, James Hopes, Cameron White and George Bailey at the launch of the 2010/2011 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. Photo: Getty Images.

11. The 39-year-old arrives at the Renegades with a Master of Business (Sports Management) degree under his belt.

12. He was once dismissed off the seventh ball of an over. Earlier this year, Sydney Sixers’ quick Ben Dwarshuis had Klinger caught at third man when six legal deliveries had already been bowled. The oversight went undetected and replays were unable to give Klinger a reprieve.

13. Klinger’s nickname is ‘Maxy’, a moniker The Age noted back in 2006 that refers to his time in the Victorian Under 17 team when his coach “associated him with Corporal Max Klinger of M*A*S*H fame”.

14. Klinger is, in fact, the tenth oldest player to make his debut for Australia in any form of the game. As we mentioned earlier, he played his first game for his country as a 36-year-old in a T20I in early 2017. That debut made him the oldest to represent his country for the first time in that form of the game, but only nine men have made their international debut for Australia at an older age. Incredibly, only two of those nine players debuted after the early 1930s.

15. He made his List A (white ball cricket) debut in Zimbabwe back in 1999, managing 57 runs against the Matabeleland Invitational XI. The touring squad from Australia included the likes of Brett Lee, Brad Hodge and Marcus North.

Klinger sure knows about Twenty20 cricket! He was present at the launch of the new Big Bash in 2011 alongside Cameron White, Marcus North, Tim Paine, Andrew McDonald, James Hopes, Brad Haddin and David Warner. Photo: Getty Images.

16. Klinger has been on the big-time cricket radar since he was a young teenager when he made a century for Prahran against St Kilda in Victoria’s first-grade competition.

17. Klinger was not just a T20 specialist. He amassed a whopping 11,320 runs in First Class cricket until his retirement from the format in early 2017, while he is behind only Brad Hodge on the list of most runs scored in Australia’s domestic one-day competition.

18. No player has scored more Twenty20 centuries before their international debut than Klinger.

19. Respected by teammates and opponents alike, Klinger was voted the State Player of the Year Award in 2009 and 2010.

20. As noted earlier, Klinger has made eight T20 centuries. In world cricket, only one player – Chris Gayle – has scored more.