Gloucestershire’s one-day captain Michael Klinger will play a reduced role in this year’s Big Bash League after his wife Cindy was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Klinger revealed the shock news about his wife in an emotional open letter on the website of his BBL franchise Perth Scorchers.
The 37-year-old, who played in last season’s NatWest T20 Blast for Gloucestershire, has not ruled out playing some part in the competition but will prioritise his family in the coming weeks and months.
“I have never considered myself to be the most skilled or flashy batsman going around, but every time I step on the field, I do so with a winning and competitive attitude – I’m a fighter,” he said.
“But our roles reversed from the moment we found out Cindy had cancer. Cindy must now take the mantle as the ‘fighter’ and bring a positive and winning attitude to every treatment and hurdle she runs into along the way.
“I, on the other hand, need to become chief carer, supporter and motivator. Playing cricket, right at this moment, is secondary.”
Klinger joined Gloucestershire for the 2013 season having previously featured for Worcestershire.
He played in all forms of cricket until the end of the 2016 season, then accepted the role of one-day captain in white-ball cricket, dropping his commitment to the First Class game.
Gloucestershire had a mediocre campaign in last season’s Royal London Cup and finished bottom of their pool in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Klinger (369) was Gloucestershire’s leading run getter in the Royal London Cup, but was pipped at the top of the averages by Iain Cockbain (59.00).
Klinger (287) was also top scorer in the Twenty20 competition, hitting a rapid 101 off 58 balls against Hampshire at the Brightside Ground.
Gloucestershire have issued a short statement in support of Klinger. It read: “The thoughts of everyone at Gloucestershire Cricket; players, coaches, staff, members and supporters, are with the whole Klinger family at this extremely difficult time.”