Axed Klinger to leave WA for BPL T20 stint

Veteran batsman to play in Bangladesh T20 tournament and all but certain to miss first half of Sheffield Shield season

Michael Klinger has effectively pulled out of the first half of the JLT Sheffield Shield season, with Western Australia announcing the veteran batsman will this week leave the country for a domestic T20 tournament in Bangladesh.

Klinger, surprisingly axed from the Warriors' Shield side that defeated Tasmania by 301 runs last week, will fly out for the subcontinent tomorrow to play in the Bangladesh Premier League.

The 37-year-old has received the green light to play in the five-and-a-half-week tournament from both the Western Australian Cricket Association and Cricket Australia, with the WACA confirming he remains a contracted player for the 2017-18 season.

It's understood Klinger and WA coaching staff came to the decision by mutual agreement, with the tournament to give the right-hander some match practice ahead of Perth Scorchers' KFC Big Bash League campaign. 

Tasmania dismissed for lowest-ever Shield total

It's not known which of the seven BPL teams Klinger will play for, with an announcement to be made in the coming days ahead of the tournament's first game on Friday. The competition features the likes of Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Kumar Sangakkara.

The final of the BPL will be held in Dhaka on December 12, meaning Klinger almost certainly won't be available for WA selection until after the BBL break.

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The Warriors' second Shield match against NSW begins Friday and they play three more games (against South Australia on November 13, Queensland on November 24 and Victoria on December 3) before the BBL interval. The Scorchers' first game is on December 23 against Sydney Sixers. 

Despite not missing a match for WA over the previous four Sheffield Shield seasons, Klinger couldn't win a spot in the Warriors' star-studded top-order for their match against the Tigers.

Each member of WA's top six had international experience, with Magellan Ashes hopefuls Shaun Marsh, Hilton Cartwright and Marcus Stoinis all featuring.

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Coach Justin Langer had hinted earlier in the week that a tough call would have to be made regarding their star-studded batting line-up.

"There will be some headaches and some really tough decisions," the former Test opener said. 

"We have been thinking about it for months … Seven into six will provide a challenge."

Klinger's non-selection reflected a trend of veteran players being squeezed out in the opening round of Shield games, with the likes of former Test players Tim Paine, Ed Cowan and Cameron White all missing out.

In February, Klinger made his long-awaited international debut in Australia's T20 International series against Sri Lanka.

Klinger impresses on international debut