Michael Klinger (born 1980) is a first-class cricketer who played for Victoria and has joined the Southern Redbacks for the 2008-09 season. He plays for St. Kilda Cricket Club in Premier Cricket and is known as “Maxy”.
Klinger began as an 18-year old youngster in the 1998/99 season. His career lowlight was the 2000-01 season when he made a famous 99 not out, with captain Paul Reiffel declaring the innings closed, a move which brought great controversy. This move caused Klinger some great upset, and following it Klinger had several less successful years, but returned to contention for a spot in the Victorian Bushrangers side for the 2005-06 season. He quickly made his first first-class cricket century, and then followed it up with his first List A one-day century, but his first class form soon dropped, and he was replaced in the side by Lloyd Mash, not to return in the Pura Cup all season.
In the 2006-07 season, he started off in the outer from the Pura Cup side, but started off his Ford Ranger Cup season in style, nearly getting a century early on, and then following it up with one. He led the runs scoring in the competition for much of the season, eventuall finishing 3rd. Klinger’s rise to the Pura Cup team came only when Brad Hodge was called up by Australia for their ODI Series, and Klinger’s recent form had been wavy, with his last game for the 2nd XI yielding a first innings duck, but second innings century. Klinger was soon to do the same for the 1st XI, but the century ensured that when Hodge returned, Klinger survived. He finished the season as a regular fixture of the Bushrangers side, and was part of a great partnership with David Hussey in a match against NSW, in which the Vics defied all odds to chase down a massive total of 360 on an extremely poor 4th day pitch (it was later described as a 3rd day pitch on day 1 by Hussey), scoring 102.
Klinger has joined the South Australia Redbacks for the 2008-09 season in order to get more opportunities at state level.