Michael Klinger: Success in Adelaide was ‘extremely special’
GH: While the move came about the way it did, looking back, you’ve got two BBL titles with the Perth Scorchers and had some really good seasons with WA as well.
MK: My five years here have been unbelievable, to be honest.
I think moving over, and again performing well early in my time in WA, having a 1000 run Shield season the first year and a pretty good one the year after – I think it was 800 or 900 runs – and just playing in consistently winning teams and winning titles, was unbelievable.
To win a couple of one-day titles, and a couple of Big Bash titles (was amazing) – it would’ve been lovely to win a Sheffield Shield, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
We’ve really enjoyed living in Perth, we’ve made a lot of good friends here as well and have enjoyed the lifestyle.
The move was certainly fruitful from a cricket side of things, and also from a lifestyle point of view.
In saying that, the two titles I played in with the Redbacks were extremely rewarding as well.
We were a team that hadn’t won anything for a very long time, and to be entrusted with the leadership with them and to win a one-day title and a Big Bash with the Redbacks was extremely special, for many reasons.
One was because we were struggling leading into that and to get the opportunity to lead the guys to two titles was pretty cool as well.
GH: And it was the Twenty20 side of things that got you your debut for Australia in the end at age 36. What was it like donning the Australian colours for the first time after so many years of first-class cricket?
MK: It was certainly special.
A lot of hard work went into it, so it was something I’d probably thought had passed me by.
I think there was a little bit of luck involved – I think David Warner and Steve Smith weren’t available for that series (against Sri Lanka), which allowed an opening, I suppose, for one or two batters to get in there.
I was lucky enough to have a few good Big Bashes in a row – I think I made 70-odd not out in the final just before that team was picked.
Other times my timing may have been slightly off, but that time it was pretty good and allowed me to probably get selected for that series.
It was great, just the recognition, but also to do pretty well in a series and to prove to myself more than anyone else that I could be successful at international level.
GH: After playing first-class cricket for two decades, effectively, how have you adjusted to life as a retired player?
MK: Well, at the moment I’m doing a lot of daddy day care, a lot of school drop offs and after school sports, but I’m certainly looking now for future opportunities.
I’ve worked pretty hard over my career on my studies and completed a Masters in Business and Sport Management a couple of years ago.
So, I’m looking to hopefully get into the business side of sport, or sport admin side.
I would love to stay in cricket if I could, but I’m also looking at possibly other sports opportunities as well, so we’ll see what comes of it.
I’m also interested in coaching – I’ve got my level three coaching as well, which I completed last year – so I suppose I’ve got to work out exactly what I want to do, and which direction I want to take, and go from there.