Test Match Sofa
Klinger up for the challenge at Glos
By Richard Latham
Michael Klinger has been talking for the first time about the challenges of leading Gloucestershire’s young team into the 2013 cricket season.
The Australian batman, who signed a two-year contract with the club in December, will arrive in England with wife Cindy and children Bailey (2) and Summer (11 months) at the beginning of April.
Klinger is expected to open the batting for Gloucestershire in all forms of cricket and takes over the captaincy from Alex Gidman, who decided to step down after four years at the helm.
He said: “I have been wanting to play a full summer of county cricket for a long time now. I got the opportunity to play for eight weeks with Worcestershire last season and that was a fantastic experience, despite all the rain which made batting difficult.
“It made me hungrier still to come back for more. The added chance to captain a side and look to help them improve and progress made Gloucestershire’s offer even more appealing. I look forward to passing on some of my experience to the younger guys in the squad.
“I’ve spoken a fair bit to John Bracewell and I know we have some experienced professionals, who I will have to lean on initially when I come over. I realise that the team is quite young and I hope I can play a part in helping the less experienced guys improve their game to an extent that some of them emerge as future leaders themselves.
“I watched Ed Young play a T20 game in Australia the other day and he scored a hundred off 50 balls against my club team Kensington. He looked really impressive so I know there is a lot of talent among the younger players at Gloucestershire.
“I will be leaning heavily on John Bracewell’’s guidance, as well as that of the senior players. Once I get to know the squad better I will be able to make up my own mind about what are realistic targets for the season.”
Klinger won the Allan Border medal as Player-of-the-Year in Australia in 2009 and 2010. He has a good record in first-class and one-day cricket and has represented Australia A, including on a tour to England last summer. After beginning his career with Victoria, Klinger moved to South Australia in 2008 and saw his career blossom.
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