Michael Klinger April 26, 2014

'I still hope to play ODIs for Australia'

Australian batsman Michael Klinger on being stranded on 99, facing Shoaib Akhtar, and nightlife in Bristol

Do you consider yourself unlucky never to have played for Australia?
Yes and no. In one-day cricket I've been successful and still hope to play for Australia. So maybe yes, I do, in that form of the game. In terms of Test cricket, there have been times I may have been close but there are a lot of good players in Australia and I probably haven't got the runs at the right time. I've had opportunities and haven't taken them, which is down to me.

What are you looking forward to most about working with Justin Langer at Western Australia?
I have heard such good reports about him from guys that have played with him, but not just about his cricket coaching. It's also about the way he has brought sides together and his caring nature for the players. He looks out for them in their lives away from cricket, and for me, with a wife and two little kids, that's very important. I can't wait to work with someone like him at the back end of my career.

Think back to March 3, 2001. Can you remember what happened?
(Pauses, then laughs) Ah, the declaration! I was on 99 not out for Victoria in Hobart and Paul Reiffel decided to declare.

Did you hit him? I didn't! At the time I was happy to be playing and scoring a few runs. Now, looking back, it would have been nice to get one more ball to get one more run, but I think he wanted 15 minutes to bowl at them just before lunch. I didn't even face that many balls that morning.

Your nickname is Maxy. Why?
There was a show called M*A*S*H that was on before I was born, I think. The name was given to me by an underage coach at the time. There was a person in the show called Corporal Max Klinger, who was a cross-dresser. Hopefully it's because of my surname that they called me that.

Who is your best mate in cricket?
When in Victoria, Bobby Quiney. In South Australia, Callum Ferguson.

Who is the best fielder you have shared a dressing room with?
Cameron White, for Victoria, is a good all-round fielder, whether it's as a catcher in the slips or in the inner ring.

Who has bowled the best spell you have ever faced?
Shoaib Akhtar, in a World XI game against Victoria, was outstanding. He bowled some fast bouncers and fast yorkers at me, so him.

What represents Gloucestershire's best hope of silverware this season?
The one-day tournaments. We've got a pretty good young one-day team that showed promised last season.

Where's the best place to go in Gloucestershire for a night out? With two kids, I don't get much time to go out. There was a couple of times I did after a good win last year, and a pub called Racks is a place I enjoy. A few of the younger lads dragged me to the Mbargo nightclub last season. It's not my scene but they definitely love it.

The Gloucester lads are lined up for a 100m sprint. Who would win?
I'd say Hamish Marshall. He's the oldest guy in the squad but probably the fittest and quickest.

And who would lose?
He won't like me saying this but Alex Gidman isn't the quickest over the ground.

You have played over 300 matches but have bowled six balls. How many did you go for?
It's probably six more than I should have bowled. Did I go for three in the over?

Correct.
I knew it. George Bailey was too scared to get out to me.

Describe your bowling action.
I try and bowl legspin but I'm happy if they land on the pitch somewhere.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream.

Coca Cola or Pepsi?
Coke.

Where do you do your weekly shopping?
In England, Sainsbury's.

Michael Klinger was speaking at a NatWest T20 Blast event. Tickets can be purchased here

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