CRICKET

Klinger excited to make Australian debut

Klinger excited to make Australian debut
Michael Klinger says he is fortunate to become the oldest debutant in the T20 series against Sri Lanka.

Michael Klinger says the cards have finally fallen his way as he prepares for his Australian debut in the T20 series against Sri Lanka.

The 36-year-old will become the oldest Australian debutant in the T20 format and the 10th oldest across all three formats.

Klinger hopes to play in Friday night's match at the MCG, his original home ground before he moved to SA and then WA.

The absence of key players such as Steve Smith and David Warner ahead of the Indian tour led to former paceman Stuart Clark deriding the T20s as the Who Cares Cup.

Clark wants no more T20 internationals, other than a World Cup every four years.

But at 36, the stars have finally aligned for Klinger after years of frustration and near-misses with national selection.

He will be the oldest Australian to make his T20 international debut and the 10th-oldest Australian cricketer across the three formats.

'I suppose you can take his point of view, in terms of some of the bigger-name guys (who) aren't around to play,' Klinger said of Clark's comments.

'But everyone who gets an opportunity to play is going to give it their best shot.'

'I can tell you, for me personally, it's certainly not that - I couldn't care more.'

'It's a great opportunity for me to represent my country.'

Earlier this week, Adam Voges announced his retirement from international cricket, after becoming the oldest player to make a Test century on debut two years ago at 35.

While Klinger points to Voges as a great example of what players in their 30s can do, he is also realistic.

'There's no doubt if they pick the right player, an experienced guy who's performing well, (he) can perform on the big stage,' he said.

'I'm not saying that's me, necessarily ... you never say never, but I'm realistic about it now.'

'In Test cricket, Cricket Australia are obviously looking in a new direction.'

'It's going to be tough work ... in my older age, I'm a lot more realistic about these sorts of things and I'm just trying to enjoy it.'

Klinger is lapping up the experience, saying it was a big thrill for former Australian captain and now team assistant coach Ricky Ponting to give him some throw downs at training this week.

He hopes to make his debut in Friday night's match, at his original home ground before moving to SA and then WA.

'The way it's worked out, if it's back in my original home town in Melbourne, a lot of family and friends will be around, so it would be great,' he said.

The Australians were yet to determine their final squad on Thursday morning.