Former Australia T20 player and Perth Scorchers batsman Michael Klinger has been named the Melbourne Renegades coach for the upcoming BBL season.
Klinger replaces title-winning coach Andrew McDonald who resigned after taking a role as Australia's assistant coach.
Klinger, 39, retired from the BBL last season as the competition's all-time leading run-scorer. He scored 1947 runs in eight seasons for the Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers, including a century and 12 half-centuries, and played in two titles with the Scorchers under Justin Langer. He also won three titles in the state-based Big Bash competition with Victoria and South Australia prior to the BBL starting in 2011. He played three T20 internationals for Australia in 2017 having dominated all forms of domestic cricket for over a decade.
Klinger has no head coaching experience. He has a lot of captaincy experience having led Gloucestershire in the T20 Blast in England over the last four seasons and has also worked as their batting consultant.
"To be given the opportunity to coach the current BBL champions is obviously very humbling and a fantastic honour," Klinger said.
"I've played with and against a number of players in the squad and I'm looking forward to working alongside such a talented playing group. Andrew has set up a terrific platform and I'm ready to take that forward this season.
"I've been fortunate to represent some outstanding organisations throughout my career and the lessons I've learned along the way leave me feeling as well prepared as I can be for the challenges that will inevitably emerge throughout the season."
Klinger was in the frame to become an Australian selector but was beaten to the role by George Bailey.
Cricket Victoria's General Manager of Cricket Shaun Graf said that Klinger was the standout choice for the Renegades despite his lack of coaching experience.
"We are pleased that we were able to secure a person held in such high esteem," Graf said.
"The qualities that made Maxy (Klinger) such an accomplished player are the qualities that will set him up for an excellent coaching career. He's well-prepared, well-structured and an excellent man manager with fantastic leadership experience.
"We know he'll receive strong support from Finchy (Aaron Finch) and the rest of the team, as well as the other coaches.
"We are very excited to have Maxy on board and we look forward to providing the support and structure he needs to get the most out of his coaching career."
The Renegades have kept parts of their title-winning coaching panel in place to support Klinger, with Andre Borovec and Lachlan Stevens remaining as assistant coaches. Dimitri Mascarenhas was the Renegades bowling coach last season but has come out of contract. He is currently working with the Renegades' WBBL team but may again be used with the BBL side.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne